Barrage decision ‘short-sighted and disappointing’
The Stop the Barrage NOW campaign has criticised the Government’s decision to shortlist plans for a barrage for further consideration into renewable energy projects in the Severn Estuary.
Ed Miliband MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, made the announcement in Bristol while visiting Explore-@-Bristol today [Monday] that three barrages schemes – Cardiff Weston, Shoots and Beachley – were on the shortlist.
A spokesperson for Stop the Barrage NOW said:
“The decision to shortlist costly and damaging proposals for a barrage show the Government cares little for the environment, the region’s economic prosperity and the maritime community.
“We are shocked and saddened that the Government has failed to take on board the large public protest against a Severn barrage. A dam like a barrage would cause catastrophic damage to the environment, especially biodiversity and fish stocks along the estuary. It would increase the risk of flooding in a region already badly affected by floods, and the estuary’s archaeological heritage will also be under attack.
The campaign is also concerned that a barrage across the Severn will:
· cost at least £15 billion
· produce energy for no more than six hours in every 24, costing twice as much as wind power
· will not come generate power until nearly 2020, too late to meet government targets
“This decision is also bad news for the region’s economy. Today’s announcement will spark alarm for the region’s ports and maritime community, and the impact a barrage will have upon jobs and long-term economic prosperity cannot be underestimated.
“The battle doesn’t stop here. A period of public consultation on the options begins and Stop the Barrage NOW will be urging residents, local businesses and anyone who cares about the Severn and its surroundings to make their voices heard.”