Severn Barrage has no future at present - Peter Hain voices frustration
3:49pm Monday 9th September 2013 in Penarth news
MP Peter Hain has appealed for Chancellor George Osborne to take a fresh look at plans for a £30bn Lavernock to Somerset barrage.
Mr Hain, who resigned from Labour’s Shadow Cabinet last year to campaign for the Barrage, also blamed the UK Government for scuppering a project that he says would have provided five per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.
In June the Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECCC) ruled it could not back the proposal, saying it has concerns on both economic and environmental grounds.
Mr Hain wrote to Mr Osbourne to voice his frustration last month.
He said: “I am very concerned that, following the meeting I had with you several months ago, there has been no progress on the Severn Barrage – indeed, such comments as there have been from Government seem negative.
“I am now asking that you personally and your officials look afresh a what I am convinced is a fantastic, entirely privately funded £25bn investment in what will be by far the cheapest energy over the next 100 years or more for Britain.”
Mr Hain believes the barrage would be capable of producing electricity output equivalent to three or four nuclear power stations, and said that while he was convinced the project has no future at present, he hoped it could be resurrected under a future Labour Government.
“In truth it will be perhaps the only genuinely cost-competitive renewable technology,” he added.
In response Mr Osborne said more details were needed, particularly on the environmental impact.
“As this would be such a large, novel and complex infrastructure project, more evidence surrounding the cost, benefits and impacts is needed before we can look at it in greater detail,” the chancellor said.