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Formal consultation to begin on Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

The proposed £650 mn tidal lagoon has taken another step forward with the announcement that formal consultation will begin on Thursday 4 July 2013 with a series of public exhibitions throughout Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

With the £2mn community share offer open until 15 July, Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc has published their statement of community consultation as required under section 47 (6) of the Planning Act 2008. Comments on the proposed development must be received by 5 August 2013 and will be considered as the planning application is prepared, before its submission in late 2013.

Tidal Lagoon Power Plc proposes to build the lagoon on the seabed south of and connecting to Swansea Docks (between the dredged channels of the Rivers Tawe and Neath) and on other land nearby in the City and County of Swansea and in Neath Port Talbot County Borough. Work could begin as soon as April 2015.

“The Project would incorporate a new visitor attraction with educational/sporting facilities and free, public access around a new seawall,” said Head of Planning, Alex Herbert.

“However, the lagoon may also affect people, communities and the environment through, for example: visual impact; restrictions to navigation in Swansea Bay; ecological, water quality, coastal processes and other environmental impacts; and increased traffic during construction and operation phases. Therefore it is vital that local communities have opportunities to contribute to the planning process,” added Herbert.

Offshore development work will include dredging works; around 11km of new seawall connecting to shore at two points on or close to Swansea Docks and incorporating visitor/sporting facilities; concrete housings containing around 16 electricity-generating turbines; electrical connections; and other necessary facilities.

As part of the consultation exercise, Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc is publishing a Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) and Non-Technical Summary (NTS). This PEIR is available from 4 July 2013 and the company must consult on it before it can make its application for a DCO.

“Because of its size and location, the project falls within the scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, meaning that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be carried out. When the EIA process is complete and we submit our application for a DCO, an ‘Environmental Statement’ (ES) will be produced. The ES sets out an assessment of a project’s likely significant environmental effects, along with any proposed mitigation,” said Herbert.

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Policy, investment and markets  •  Wave and tidal energy