Published: January 2, 2011
Exclusive: Fresh barrage hopes as entrepreneur meets government

The entrepreneur behind plans to build a multi-billion pound Severn Barrage between Brean Down and Wales is set to meet the government this month to discuss how to take the project forward without government financial backing.

Gareth Woodham, who is overseeing the Severn Lake project to build an 'energy
causeway' between Brean Down near Burnham and to Lavernock Point in Wales, says the meeting is a "key milestone" towards starting the multi-billion project.

Last autumn, Chris Huhne, the Climate Change Secretary, scrapped government proposals for a barrage but suggested that the government would not get in the way of a private-sector funded project, as reported here.

Now, Mr Woodham and other stakeholders are preparing to meet the Department of Energy and Climate Change in late January to discuss progressing the project.

Mr Woodham told "The good news is that the Coalition Government, having decided that they would not use public sector monies to build the Energy Causeway, have said they would not preclude any private sector scheme, such as The Severn Lake Project."

"The very good news is that there are other private sector consortia also talking to the Government. The Severn Lake Tidal Power Group will meet in London in late January to meet with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the landowners to kick-start this project."

"It has been four and a half years since I placed the Severn Lake planning application for an Energy Causeway with ancillary development before councils in Somerset and Glamorgan. I am very optimistic that private consortia and our Severn Lake Company will be allowed, by the new Coalition Government, to put schemes forward."


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