June 18, 2015
Bridgwater Bay lagoon plan draws mixed reaction at Burnham meeting

Residents in Burnham-On-Sea have this week given mixed reactions to major proposals for a power-generating lagoon to be built in Bridgwater Bay.

The company behind the multi-billion pound scheme, Tidal Lagoon Power Limited, held a meeting of sea users in Burnham to get feedback on the plans.

Representatives from Burnham Sailing Club, Burnham Boat Owners Club, the Town Council and Burnham's marine rescue services were among those invited to hear more about the proposals.

The lagoon could create thousands of construction jobs and more than 100 jobs once it is operational, said the developers, but there were few firm details about timescales.

Burnham Boat Owners Simon Stroud told afterwards: "I am sceptical about the lagoon - we need more information. We have concerns about extra silting in the estuary in Burnham, restricted fish movements through the lagoon, access to vessels, and there's also concern that sewerage coming down the Parret could build up in the estuary."

But the Sailing Club's Graham Wills said: "Clearly, power generation issues are growing in the country and 'green' alternatives like this make a lot of sense. From a Sailing Club perspective, our key concerns are silting and maintaining access - but it's good to be involved early by the developers."

Town councillor Andy Brewer said: "It's a very interesting and positive proposal, but the plans are a long way off yet. The developer will learn a lot from the planned Swansea lagoon which will be the first of its type."

And the Sailing Club's David Humphrey added: "We all need to be open-minded about this scheme - I think it could be very positive. It's great that Bridgwater Bay would be the fifth lagoon out of six in the UK, so we should benefit from the learning and problems of the others."

Further consultation with local groups is planned by Tidal Lagoon Power Limited in coming months as the proposals gather pace.

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