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River Severn: Tidal Power

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what representations he has received on the effects of a Severn Barrage on biodiversity on and near the Severn. (231156)

The views of statutory consultees, environmental NGOs and other key stakeholders on biodiversity issues are being considered as part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) being carried out for the Government by a consortium led by Parsons Brinckerhoff. The Strategic Environmental Assessment has a steering group, and this includes representation of biodiversity interests by statutory consultees, Government agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Some bodies and individuals have also given their views on the various potential environmental impacts of a tidal power scheme in the Severn Estuary, in response to a Call for Information issued by Parsons Brinckerhoff in May 2008. This invited interested parties to submit comments or information that could contribute to the assessment. Responses in relation to biodiversity have been received from the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency, Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucestershire County Council, National Trust, Natural England, Mr. Ray Parker, PML Applications Ltd, Ravensrodd Consultants Ltd, RSPB, Sedgemor District Council, Severn Estuary Partnership, South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, Shawater Ltd, Stroud District Council, South West Regional Assembly, Welsh Assembly Government, and the Wye and Usk Foundation.

In addition, a Regional Forum of leaders of local authorities, business and environmental networks meets quarterly to discuss progress and key issues of the feasibility study, including impacts on biodiversity.

There will be an opportunity for the public to give their views during the consultation on the feasibility study and SEA scoping report planned for January 2009.