costs are threatening £21bn Severn Barrage plan
and opponents of a proposed £21 billion Severn Barrage between
Brean Down and Wales are waiting to see whether the scheme will
be ditched by the Government this autumn.
It follows suggestions that Energy minister Charles Hendry believes
the power- generating scheme may be threatened because of soaring
Supporters say that work on a barrage would provide a huge economic
boost for the area as well as provide up to five per cent of the
UK's total energy needs, while opponents believe the cost in environmental
terms on wildlife in the Severn Estuary are too great.
A feasibility study is due to be published in October following
a two-year public consultation.
The Labour government was keen to see a barrage built but the
coalition government's massive cost-cutting programme has hit
the Department for Energy and Climate.
Energy Minister was speaking at an energy conference in Norway
this week. Asked where the barrage might be built, Mr Hendry said:
"We have been studying responses to consultations and we
are looking at that and we are due to publish a report in the
He added: "We are also looking at the likely costs and these
have been escalating over time."
At the event, he added that the Government was keen to be viewed
as a careful guardian of the public purse and hinted that plans
for a barrage would be unlikely to get government funding.
It comes after government minister Chris Huhne said earlier this
year that he was keen on environmentally friendly schemes but
stressed that cost was a major factor.
reported last year how a
shortlist of schemes is being considered for the estuary.
Brean Down to Lavernock Point scheme, pictured above, was the
£4bn tidal lagoon is also being considered for Bridgwater
proposals for barrages and lagoons in the Bristol Channel have
been considered in recent years, as pictured above