Wind farms: Celebrities oppose 'destructive' plans

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Griff Rhys Jones
Image caption,
Griff Rhys Jones was among a number of celebrities to write a letter opposing the wind farm infrastructure plans

A host of celebrities have backed a campaign against pylons, cables and substations on a "tremendous protected landscape".

Comedian Griff Rhys Jones was among those who wrote to The Times protesting at plans for infrastructure linked to wind farms off the East Anglian coast.

One signatory said he had "never known the Suffolk coast to be under such pressure".

Energy firms behind the project said "green power" was urgently needed.

Rhys Jones is one of 19 people with homes in Suffolk, including artist Maggi Hambling, classical music TV presenter Sir Humphrey Burton and the poet Lavinia Greenlaw, to sign the letter.

It refers to plans by ScottishPower Renewables to build two substations at Friston, near Aldeburgh.

In it, the group say the "piecemeal, outdated approach" to green energy infrastructure would result in the "destruction of ancient woodland [and] rare heathland habitats".

They warn: "Norfolk is facing similar issues."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Wind farms are being planned off the Suffolk coast

The East Anglian coast has become a centre for offshore wind farms, with projects worth £22bn anticipated over the next decade, though critics have questioned why infrastructure cannot be better planned and shared between energy firms.

David Wood, chairman of Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership, said: "Seeing names which are noticeable - that are memorable to members of the public - shows the national concern.

"The coast and heath is a tremendous protected landscape. In all the years I have been associated with it - which is some 22 now - I have never known the Suffolk coast to be under such pressure."

A spokesman for ScottishPower Renewables said while the company was "generally supportive" of an offshore grid network, it would "require significant changes".

He added: "Given the urgent need to provide large quantities of clean, green power in order to power our homes and businesses and decarbonise our economy, it is not feasible to pause current projects."

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