The massive power-generating tidal lagoon – proposed to be built on the mudflats between Penarth Pier and Newport – is such a complex project that Cardiff Council admits that it just doesn’t have the expertise to appraise it .
An internal council report says that “the impact of such a project could be vast and hugely complex” but that “the council is potentially facing a huge knowledge gap”
It also appears to be acknowledged that Cardiff councillors who are members of the Environmental Scrutiny Committee are going to be out of their depth.The report says that “additional support” will be required to “properly scrutinise a project of this type and scale – which is far from ‘business as usual’.”
The report warns that scrutiny of the project will “require regular meetings over many years and across a very broad range of topics” and that “specialist witnesses will be required, reports many need to be commissioned, visits will need to take place, etc… “ – and all that is going to need “additional resources” [ i.e. money from somewhere ]
Meanwhile the environmental organisation Friends of the Earth says the internal report has failed to mention a number of “critical issues“. Keith Stockdale and Max Wallis of the Barry and Vale Branch of Friends of the Earth say:-
- The destruction of the big area of mudflats in the Special Area of Conservation may possibly acceptable if there are over-riding grounds of socio-economic importance, but there’s no evidence on this, – and “equivalent mudflats” would be required as “mitigation”.
- The lagoon structure would drastically affect the sediment deposition in shipping channels to Cardiff docks and through the Barrage, as well as the tidal conditions for passage through the locks.
Tomorrow (Tuesday November 15th 2016) Cardiff Council’s “Environmental Scrutiny Committee” is to consider the report