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River Severn: Tidal Power

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 25 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how the review of tidal energy in the River Severn plans to take into account the views of people resident beside the river. (281349)

The Severn tidal power feasibility study will include two public consultations. The first of these was held earlier this year when my Department sought views on the scope of the work, including a recommended shortlist of schemes for further analysis. Details of public engagement were set out in the answer to PQ 2660. The Government response to this consultation will be published shortly on the DECC website.

The second consultation will be held at the end of the feasibility study (probably in 2010) to seek views on whether Government should support a Severn tidal power scheme and if so on what terms. During this consultation, we plan to hold public meetings on both sides of the Severn estuary.

Prior to this second consultation, we hope to be working with the Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre to hold a small scale public meeting for invited members of the public (particularly members of the public near the Severn estuary). This work is intended to provide a representative view on Severn tidal power at this point, the priority issues for people and how best to communicate information in the consultation. (Sciencewise-ERC supports public dialogue through funding from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills).

We will also continue working with stakeholders (including representatives of local communities, such as local authorities and Members of Parliament) over the course of the feasibility study. There are a number of groups and events for stakeholders to participate in, as also described in the answer given to the hon. Member on 14 May 2009, Official Report, column 957W, if they wish to contribute to evidence gathering and analysis. Information on these events and regular updates on progress are available on our website at: