Severn barrage: wildlife impact will be addressed, Hain promises
Published: 20th Aug 2012 07:43:25
The Welsh MP leading plans to build a £30bn barrage across the Severn estuary has promised environmental groups their concerns will be addressed.
Former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said he was very encouraged by Prime Minister David Cameron's interest.
Supporters say the barrage would provide 5% of the UK's electricity and create thousands of jobs.
Mr Hain said they would also take steps to address concerns about the impact on local wildlife.
The UK government previously rejected plans for a publicly-funded project after a two-year feasibility study found the cost of building the barrage from the Vale of Glamorgan to Somerset could be up to £34bn, double the initial estimate.
Mr Hain, who gave up his post in Labour's shadow cabinet to devote more time to promoting the barrage, said the latest proposals from the Corlan Hafren consortium would not need a single penny of taxpayer's money.
When it has sufficient confidence that the government at least is going to give it in-principle backing then of course all that detail will be published”
It is claimed that the barrage would result in 20,000 jobs being created during construction and 30,000 long term, in addition to helping meet the UK's targets for renewable energy.
The Neath MP told BBC Wales that a meeting with Mr Cameron had been very positive, with the consortium needing the UK government's support in principle to pass planning and regulatory hurdles.
The RSPB has previously said that a conventional barrage would be "an environmental disaster" and possibly be in breach of the EU habitats directive, while Friends of the Earth have said that other technologies would have "less damaging consequences".
Mr Hain said the new plan would reduce the risk of flooding, but admitted there were concerns about the impact on local wildlife.
"The RSPB, with who the consortium has engaged positively, still has got very serious questions that need to be answered," he said.
"The anglers also have met us and talked to us as well," he added.
"Their concerns are being discussed - a different type of turbine designed and other kinds of configurations which make it much more fish and bird friendly."
Mr Hain said the consortium would see the various environmental groups at a stakeholders' meeting in the coming weeks, and that full details of the proposal would be released when appropriate.
"When it has sufficient confidence that the government at least is going to give it in-principle backing then of course all that detail will be published," he said.
Downing Street confirmed that the prime minister met Mr Hain and Corlan Hafren in July to discuss the barrage plan.
A spokesman said: "The government is keen to promote a diverse range of energy supply and will consider the proposals carefully."
At 08:59:07 in EnglandA mother whose two daughters swam for eight hours to safety when their boat sank in rough seas in Indonesia has spoken of their ordeal.
At 08:47:51 in Sport"My schoolmates never really used to value riding a bike, especially if you were a girl," says Benitha Uwamariya as she sits in the headmaster's office at her school.
At 08:39:03 in EnglandA former Conservative MEP at the centre of an expenses fraud probe faces no further action, police have said.
At 08:37:00 in Northern IrelandA 37-year-old man who was arrested over a "road rage" incident in County Tyrone has been released on bail.
At 08:30:57 in SportKevin Wilkin is aware Wrexham need more strength in depth and hopes to add to his squad before the transfer window closes.
At 08:30:01 in WalesAn app has been developed to crackdown on fly-tippers, which costs the Welsh taxpayer £2m a year.
At 08:29:53 in EnglandTwo men have been charged with the murder of a 17-year-old who was shot dead in south-east London in 2010.
At 08:17:29 in EnglandA man has been charged with murdering a woman who was found dead in a garden.
At 08:09:49 in Northern IrelandA 27-year-old man arrested as part of a police investigation into labour exploitation has been released.
At 08:04:20 in PoliticsPhilip Hammond has described the apparent beheading of a US journalist by an Islamic State militant with a British accent as "an appalling example of the brutality of this organisation".
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Severn barrage: wildlife impact will be addressed, Hain promises [Online] (Updated 20th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1447057/Severn-barrage-wildlife-impact-will-be-addressed-Hain-promises [Accessed 20th Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
An app has been developed to crackdown on fly-tippers, which costs the Welsh taxpayer £2m a year.
She's topped the list of France's highest paid actors - but in her new film, Two Days and One Night, Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard plays a factory worker who is forced to beg her colleagues to save her job under the threat of redundancy.
Alder Hey Children's Hospital "requires improvement" in the areas of critical care and outpatient services, health inspectors have said.
China has levied a record fine totalling 1.24bn yuan ($202m; £121m) on twelve Japanese car parts companies for price-fixing.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
American writer and critic Susan Sontag once said: "Nothing is mysterious, no human relation. Except love."