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2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
Public engagement with
tidal power options
Whose estuary is it ?
Dr Mervy...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
This presentation covers….
• Who’s promoting public engagement on what
• ...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
Engagement on what, by whom
What….
A developing process of public engagem...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
Securing the future
The UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy (2...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
Overall process, and next steps
• Very complex decision-making process wi...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
Taking forward public engagement
• Current level of engagement is relativ...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
Public correspondence - Bristol Evening Post
……I am not against using the...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
Who does the public trust?
Courtesy: Western Mail
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
Key public questions – 1
Finding a balance
• How valuable really are the ...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
Key public questions – 2
Combating climate change
• Severn tidal range is...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
Key public questions – 3
Environment
• Why try to conserve this present e...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
Key public questions – 4
Vision
'Proposed Barrage across Severn Estuary' ...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
Key public questions – 5
Regional development
• What opportunities for
de...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
So what are we proposing?
• Increasing emphasis on public engagement
(“in...
2nd
Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007
It’s everybody’s estuary
Thank you for your kind attention
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2007 08 Public Engagement with Tidal Power Options - Mervyn Bramley, University of the West of England and RSA

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Public Engagement with Tidal Power Options - Mervyn Bramley, University of the West of England and RSA

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2007 08 Public Engagement with Tidal Power Options - Mervyn Bramley, University of the West of England and RSA

  1. 1. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 Public engagement with tidal power options Whose estuary is it ? Dr Mervyn Bramley OBE Engineer and Environmentalist Research fellow, University of West of England Fellow, Royal Society of Arts
  2. 2. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 This presentation covers…. • Who’s promoting public engagement on what • Guiding principles from “Securing the Future” • Process / route map to sustainable solutions, including public engagement and ownership • What the public has said, thought and could ask • Next steps …….
  3. 3. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 Engagement on what, by whom What…. A developing process of public engagement and understanding on issues surrounding development and use of tidal power from the Severn Estuary ….needs to be promoted by all stakeholders, but we are A group of neutral organisations each with an active interest in the public understanding of science and serving society in this area Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce Severn Estuary Partnership University of West of England Cardiff University British Association for the Advancement of Science
  4. 4. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 Securing the future The UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy (2005) set out five guiding principles to help deliver a sustainable future for all. In partnership with regional & local public bodies, the public is expected to contribute strongly to planning for the future of its region / locality.
  5. 5. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 Overall process, and next steps • Very complex decision-making process with many interests at all levels - “uncharted waters” – international / national / regional / local • Next key step is SDC report on UK Tidal Power, incl. Severn Estuary annex. Due September 2007 – evidence base; engagement programme; final report – strategic overview of options for tidal power from Severn Estuary • Critical decision on preferred option(s) • Programme of multi-disciplinary studies to address uncertainties, assemble data, and consider options • Further stakeholder, including public, engagement • Clarification of route map through existing legislation and planning / parliamentary requirements – e.g. Imperative reasons for over-riding public interest (IROPI) • Programme of outline design, business / funding issues, environmental assessment and sustainability appraisal • Prepare enabling legislation
  6. 6. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 Taking forward public engagement • Current level of engagement is relatively low at “Inform” level • Increase level to “Involve” (via local government, media, RSA group, etc) – Provide balanced information on options, with pros & cons (SDC report) – Support public discussion and assist understanding of science / sustainability – Help public to recognise “totalitarian” & develop views on what is sustainable – Listen to & monitor views – Address issues of broad public concern • Explain next steps and facilitate relevant engagement activities • Good public engagement will secure ownership of the solution Source: Protocol for Public Engagement with Proposed Wind Energy Developments in Wales - Report for Renewables Advisory Board and DTI – May 2007
  7. 7. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 Public correspondence - Bristol Evening Post ……I am not against using the Severn to generate electricity - far from it. I think it is essential that we do so. But there are far better, cheaper ways to do this than to build a concrete monstrosity stretching across the width of the estuary. Alan Fidler, Clevedon ……The barrage deserves an objective assessment. There are many issues involved, certainly more than those related to conventional energy projects. The key questions include: is it a sustainable independent energy source; can the barrage create new and significant transport links; can it create opportunities for regeneration and recreational use; can any real or imagined adverse impacts on the natural environment be mitigated to an acceptable degree? Jack Penrose, Redland, Bristol …...The barrage would not be an "enormous brick wall“, for in order for it to work, there has to be little restriction to the tide as it flows in. Mr Fidler is right to suggest wave technology and wind power, but the barrage should complement this as part of a balanced portfolio of "green energy". If Mr Fidler doesn't support the barrage, then global warming might require people living near to the Severn Estuary to move to higher ground sooner rather than later. Kevin Self, Henleaze, Bristol "Severn Barrage could have disastrous results" Open Lines, May 2007
  8. 8. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 Who does the public trust? Courtesy: Western Mail
  9. 9. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 Key public questions – 1 Finding a balance • How valuable really are the Severn tidal resource and the Severn environment? • Can we weigh one against the other? • Is there a public body doing this? • If so, how and when, and will the process be public and visible? What is too little ?? How much is “just right” ?? What is too much ??
  10. 10. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 Key public questions – 2 Combating climate change • Severn tidal range is our “Green Gold” – shouldn’t we make as much use of it for energy as we can afford to? • Is this the best way we can combat climate change? • Which tidal power option is the most reliable – barrage, lagoon or tidal stream? • Which is the “least worst” option? • If nothing on the scale of a Severn Barrage has been built before, how can we ever be confident enough to build it?
  11. 11. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 Key public questions – 3 Environment • Why try to conserve this present environment when it’s going to change due to climate change in any case? • Who or what is IROPI? • Won’t a barrage or lagoons enable a new unique environment to be created? • Will we ever know enough about the Severn environment to enable some options to be properly assessed? • How could tidal power development proceed with incomplete or uncertain information? • Surely wildlife must make lifestyle changes in the face of climate change?
  12. 12. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 Key public questions – 4 Vision 'Proposed Barrage across Severn Estuary' by Thomas Fulljames, 1849 View across Severn estuary to Beachley. The barrage, a two-tiered viaduct with trains on top and roadway below, consists of 21 towers with connecting arched structures. Courtesy: Newport Museum & Art Gallery Shouldn’t the vision be a higher quality environment that’s inclusive of people, landscape, commerce and nature? Not surprisingly, the Victorians were better able to convey a vision of bold but joined-up development
  13. 13. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 Key public questions – 5 Regional development • What opportunities for development are linked to the different options? • Could we get a Gordon Brown ecotown? • How would local people / communities benefit from the development? • How could local businesses benefit? • How would the energy leave the power plant? • How can sustainability be optimised overall?
  14. 14. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 So what are we proposing? • Increasing emphasis on public engagement (“involvement”), particularly following the SDC report • Presentation of the options, with their pros, cons and uncertainties, from a neutral, sound science viewpoint • Clear way forward – focussed studies, sustainability appraisal, “route map” etc. • Organising two major public forums, in Bristol and Cardiff, to present and discuss the issues and options – Please take the hand-out • Increasing programme of activities among stakeholders to underpin public engagement – Research, exhibitions, local meetings, dissemination etc
  15. 15. 2nd Severn Estuary Forum, Clevedon – 7 June 2007 It’s everybody’s estuary Thank you for your kind attention

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