Barrage scheme 'out of date'
AN influential organisation has spoken out against plans for a £35-billion scheme to build a barrage across the Bristol Channel.
As reported in The Post, a consortium based in South Wales has come up with a new scheme that would link Weston-super-Mare with Penarth and create a barrage capable of generating a fifth of the power needed in the UK.
The scheme is being backed by former Labour minister Peter Hain.
But the four Local Enterprise Partnerships in the South West have decided to oppose the project.
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Colin Skellet, chairman of Bristol's LEP, said: "We are all agreed the impact of the barrage on the environment far outweigh the benefits. The scheme is based on technology which is out of date and the carbon footprint of the barrage would be enormous."
Mr Hain has claimed the barrage would create thousands of jobs but Bristol Port opposed the plan. An earlier government report dismissed the idea, but David Cameron said he would not be opposed to the project if it proved to be economically viable.
Merlin Hyman, of environmental pressure group Regen South West, said: "Of course if someone comes to the table with £35 billion of private finance to build this project, then the Government has to look at it. My principal concern is the barrage idea has stopped all discussions of alternative technologies, which we believe are more financially viable."