MPs heed CLA views on Severn Barrage

09 October 2013

Members of the House of Commons' Energy and Climate Change Select Committee reflected in their report the evidence given by the CLA on compulsory purchase and compensatory habitat provision and worries about jobs, flooding and fishing.

 CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "The need to provide in excess of 9,000 hectares of new habitat would have led to compulsory acquisition of land on an unprecedented scale with no guarantee that the replacement habitat could ever be as good as what was lost. So, it is good that this has been flagged up in the MPs' report, A Severn Barrage?

 "There was never any indication how or where this replacement habitat would be provided. Landowners and businesses will continue to be concerned about the effects of this proposal. The CLA policy report Fair Play sees proactive consultation and negotiation with property owners at the outset as being essential to ensure that their interests are not just an afterthought."   

 The CLA President said the MPs had also accepted that fishing could be affected on the Rivers Severn, Wye and Usk, and that the CLA was concerned that the proposals would change tidal flows on the River Severn and further out to sea, potentially increasing the risk of flooding on the Somerset Levels.