Severn barrage dispute

The Government has today backed a report which casts serious doubt over plans for a giant barrage across the Severn Estuary.

More doubt over barrage plans

The Government has today backed a report which casts serious doubt over plans for a giant barrage across the Severn Estuary.

Ministers have agreed with a committee of MPs who said they could not recommend the £25 billion scheme.

The company behind the plans claims a barrage from Brean Down to South Wales could produce five per cent of the UK's energy.

But the committee says it's failed to provide enough evidence about what subsidies it would need, the impact on the environment, and potential job losses at the port of Bristol.

The news has been welcomed by environmentalists and wildlife experts.

Severn Bridge Credit: ITV News West Country

Full report: Former Minister urges Government to get behind Severn Barrage project

A former Minister has urged the Government to get behind the Severn Barrage project.

It would cost a staggering twenty five billion pounds - of private sector money - and according to former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, would generate five per cent of the country's entire electricity from tidal power.

However it's strongly opposed by conservation groups - who say it would damage internationally-protected mudflats - and by the port of Bristol. Today MPs heard both sides of the argument, as our political correspondent Bob Constantine reports.

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Two former soldiers from the South West injured in the Dakar Rally

Map of the Dakar Rally route Credit: ITV West

Three British men, including two former soldiers from the region, have been badly injured in South America while taking part in the Dakar Rally, said to be the world's toughest event of its kind.

Falklands War Veteran Lee Townsend from Yate in South Gloucestershire and retired army major John Winskill from Durrington in Wiltshire are in a stable condition in hospital. They were travelling in a support vehicle involved in a head on crash in Peru. Two other people are thought to have died.

Labour MP says Severn barrage is a 'win-win' for Ports in Bristol

Labour MP Peter Hain, told the Energy and Climate Change Committee that the prospect of a Severn barrage has been 'studied to death' and it's time it all went ahead. He said the project would create 50,000 jobs and provide flood protection to 90,000 properties.

This has been studied to death. We could carry on researching this for decades to come, meanwhile we are not achieving our climate change objectives and missing out on the massive economic benefits.

We have to think big, act big and grasp this opportunity. This is natural power which in the long term will produce incredibly cheap electricity for the UK and has many other benefits."

– Peter Hain, MP for Neath

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Bristol Port Company boss says Severn barrage could kill his business

Artist impression of what the Severn Barrage will look like Credit: ITV West

The boss of the Bristol Port Company has told a committee of MPs that building a barrage across the Severn estuary could be a "killer" to his business.

Simon Bird was giving evidence to the Energy Select committee which is looking at the 25 billion pound scheme to generate electricity from tidal power. Simon Bird said a build-up of silt behind the barrage make it harder for large ships could reach the port.