Barrage developer denies beach danger claims by environmentalists
leading environmental charity
that the proposed Severn
Barrage would lead to beaches in the Burnham-On-Sea area being
'strewn with dead fish' have been rejected by one of the potential
developers this week.
Marine Conservation Society (MCS) argues that the barrage, which
could stretch from Brean Down to Lavernock Point in Wales, would
pose a threat to local beaches due to damage to marine wildlife.
Dr Robert Keirle, MCS Pollution Programme Manager, says: "Although
the barrage's promoters have said the turbines have been re-designed
to be more fish-friendly we're still concerned that, once operational,
the barrage may have an unacceptable impact on fish stocks within
the Severn estuary. We could see mutilated fish washing up along
huge stretches of coastline. Favourite beaches like Weston and
Brean could end up being strewn with dead fish."
But Gareth Woodham from the Severn Lake barrage project this week
rejected the concerns, telling Burnham-On-Sea.com: "There
would be no impact to fish from our 221 underwater turbines, which
would measure seven metres in diamater and have five blades turning
at six revolutions a minute."
would happily dive through the turbines myself to demonstrate
that there would be no danger to fish. Other potential schemes
use turbines that are less friendly to fish, but the Severn Lake's
technology is safe."
its statement, the Marine Conservation Society goes on to say
that the public are being misled when it comes to the true cost
of the project.
produced will need to be subsidized by the UK taxpayer and will
probably cost up to twice as much as electricity produced elsewhere.
If the barrage produces power for 120 years, as the developers
estimate, that will be a huge bill for successive Governments
to foot," said Dr Keirle.
would far prefer to see a mixed bag approach taken to the generation
of renewable energy, consisting of on and offshore wind turbines,
tidal lagoons, and wave and tide turbines, all of which need to
be sensitively located and undergo full environmental impact assessments."
a concept, MCS is strongly supportive of renewable energy, as
it will lessen our dependence on so-called fossil fuels like coal,
gas and oil, and make a significant contribution to meeting the
UK Government's legally binding target of at least an 80% cut
in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050."
Hain MP, who left his post as shadow Welsh Secretary earlier this
year to back the project, recently met with David Cameron to promote
the barrage and the PM has since instructed civil servants to
take another look at the project, which it is estimated will cost
as much as £34billion.