March 4, 2006
million Brean Down barrage
by Welsh businessman
mammoth £650 million project to build a barrage between
Brean Down and Lavernock Point in Wales has been submitted to
district planners this week.
interviewed Gareth Woodham, the wealthy entrepreneur and businessman
from Neath who is behind the project, as he spoke for the first
time about the plans for a 1km-wide barrage spanning the Bristol
Channel, as marked on the map above.
ambitious proposal was submitted to Sedgemoor District Council
on Wednesday and even includes 12 'islands' with plush executive
council spokesman confirmed on Friday that it had received the
Woodham, 58, believes the ambitious project will take up to 20
years to complete.
will be able to drive across the top of the barrage along a dual
carriageway and there are even plans for a light railway.
project will include 14 electricity generating turbines, four
marinas and two lock gates to give ships passage.
Woodham told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Funding for the scheme
will come from various sources. An energy company could fund the
turbines and a building company the road."
set up a company called Combined Innovations Ltd to be the vehicle
for the development."
when the proposal hits John Prescott's office in a few years will
we know whether it will be tackled as a private initiative or
a public one."
the biggest problem I see is the planning problem. It could take
longer to get the plans through than to build the project."
added that the scheme would create a huge lake in the estuary
north of the barrage that would ideally be suited to pleasure
intend to call it the Severn Lake, a name that I have already
trademarked. It would give it a better marketing angle."
added: "I plan to be sailing on it by the time I'm 80 years."
is the first time a full application for a barrage has been put
forward, even though it's been talked about many times in the
District Council are taking this seriously. They are looking for
me to make a presentation over the next few weeks."
says that further details about the scheme will be released later
just amazed that no-one has put forward a proper application like
an energy review is currently under way by the government, there's
no better time to do it. This scheme will generate electricity
through water power."
many other barrage schemes have been proposed and failed, Mr Woodham
says he is determined that his plan will be successful. "I
will do this. Believe me, it's going to happen this time."
have been talking about a barrage for years - let's stop talking
and start building."
FROM BURNHAM-ON-SEA TOWN COUNCIL:
and Highbridge Town Council Leader Peter Clayton gave Burnham-On-Sea.com
his reaction to news of the barrage:
to assume at this stage this is a genuine application, I feel
it will have a very serious impact on the area, not Just Burnham
but all of the Bristol channel. I
am sure it will take many years of research to asses the impact
of such a scheme. I am not an expert in this field, but I have
some immediate concerns at this stage. The effect on beaches on
both sides of the barrage and the flood risk as a result of altering
what mother nature intended."
there is scope for tidal energy generation in the channel, but
I feel this might be a bit drastic for the area. I am sure our
neighbours north of us will be very much against the scheme with
the possible destruction of several seaside towns. It will be
interesting to see the proposals and view any research on the
in deriving large scale electrical power from the Severn Estuary
began seriously in 1925 when an official study group was commissioned.
A scheme of 800MW was investigated and although considered technically
possible, it was prevented on economic grounds.
1975 the authority charged with meeting and delivering electrical
supply in the UK, the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB),
published a study with evidence from Bristol and Salford universities
to the Secretary of States Advisory Council on Research
and Development for Fuel and Power. From the study, the council
established that a barrage could not be commissioned unless the
energy situation deteriorated significantly in order for such
a project to become economically feasible.
on the 1975 report, work continued from 1979 and 1986 at various
levels which were initiated by the Department of Energy. Published
in 1989, the scheme included a closed barrage 15.9km long with
a total installed capacity of 8,640MW from 216 turbines.
Severn Lake [External