New barrage meeting with Prime Minister

PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 May 2012

The Prime Minister will meet with a consortium who want to put the Severn Barrage scheme into action.

The Prime Minister will meet with a consortium who want to put the Severn Barrage scheme into action.

Jon Sullivan

THE Prime Minister is due to meet with the private consortium which aims to put plans for a Severn barrage into action.

The prospect of a barrage across the Bristol Channel looked to have finally been sunk when the Government ditched the idea last year, but there is fresh hope that a private scheme could still materialise.

This hope comes from the consortium Coral Hafren which has brought forward the privately-funded idea of a 10-mile barrage between Brean Down and Lavernock Point, near Cardiff, which would cost about £26billion.

The team has received backing from Weston and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce after a public meeting in April and now seems to have the support of the Government.

Peter Hain has quit as the Labour front bench to head the campaign and David Cameron will be briefed on the plans and meet with the consortium which says the scheme can be completed without public funding.

The plan has also been given the green light by developer Gareth Woodham, who originally put in a planning application to build the Severn Lake barrage in 2006.

Mr Woodham, who is based in Neath, Wales, planned a £14billion project to see a causeway with 216 hydro-electric turbines stretch from Brean Down to Lavernock Point in South Wales. He also added his plan would include 12 ‘Woodham’ islands for leisure use.

And after the Government withdrew potential public funding for the project Mr Woodham believes a Severn barrage will definitely be planned for the future and still has hope for his islands.

He said: “I‘m happy it’s moving forward and the mission is that the plans get backed and to keep the pressure on.

“I have some exciting ideas for the tourist and ribbon development, which is anywhere around the land from Brean Down to Penarth. It’s very exciting that it’s starting to pull together.

“I will be looking to develop anything that can be developed in the area and we will start an advertising campaign in the autumn. I’m getting some terrific encouragement from people who want to invest in the tourism and ribbon development.

“These 12 islands will be the stars that will make everything bright from now on.”

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