Published: September 9, 2013
£25bn Severn Barrage between Brean and Wales is 'dead in the water'

Plans for a £25bn barrage in the Severn Estuary are "dead in the water" during the current Parliament, it has been claimed this week.

Hafren Power wants to build an 11-mile barrage between Lavernock Point near Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, and Brean near Burnham-On-Sea.

But one of the barrage's key supporters, Neath MP Peter Hain, has told BBC Wales that the UK government has refused to commit to it.

In June MPs said Hafren had failed to make the case that it would be good for the economy or the environment.

In a report, the House of Commons' Energy and Climate Change Committee criticised a "lack of information and a perceived lack of transparency" about the proposal.

The case for the barrage is "unproven" and Hafren Power "has yet to provide robust and independently verified evidence of the economic, environmental and technological viability of the project", the report said.

MPs were warned also about the potential of job losses in nearby ports, and concluded the scheme is no "knight in shining armour" to meet renewable energy targets.

However supporters of the scheme argue the tidal barrage could generate 5% of the UK's electricity.

Earlier this year, former Welsh Secretary Mr Hain said the time had come to press ahead and build the Severn Barrage as the proposal has been "studied to death".

But speaking to BBC Radio Wales on Monday, Mr Hain said: "It (the UK government) refuses to say whether it backs it or opposes it.

"In practice it's put it into the long grass and therefore as far as this Parliament is concerned it is dead in the water but not as far as the future is concerned."

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