Published: April 17, 2012
Severn barrage developer 'in talks with council over new islands plan'

The developer behind plans to build a Severn barrage between Brean Down and Wales says he has begun discussions with Sedgemoor District Council over proposals to construct a dozen new islands in the Bristol Channel.

During a visit to Burnham this week, businessman Gareth Woodham (pictured) told that the barrage project is "still very much alive" and that he has been assured the government is still interested in the multi-billion pound project.

He told "The latest position is that the government does not currently see a strategic case for itself to own a barrage project. However, it is open to considering proposals for privately-funded schemes provided they are viable, cost-effective for energy consumers, and environmentally responsible."

He added that his proposed Severn Lake barrage scheme would include the construction of 12 new islands for leisure use.

"I am holding meetings with the landowner and have been in contact with Sedgemoor District Council over the island proposals," he told

"The 12 'Woodham Islands' would be built on the inside of a relocated energy wall and would comprise eight commercial islands for tourism and fishing plus four private islands."

He added: "The islands would be 1-2 acres in size and feature self-sufficient wind and wave power plus private harbours and timber construction lodges. I expect building and construction would run parallel with the energy causeway and will start around 2015."

He added that a design and construction competition is expected to be held this autumn.

Mr Woodham previously considered building an airport on the barrage, which was later shelved.

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