Consultancy calls for Tidal Lagoon Swansea to prove project’s environmental integrity

Natural Resources Wales (NRW)-commissioned consultancy Kenneth Pye Associates, has said that it feels more work is required of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay plc, to quantify the U-shaped structure's impact on coastal processes in the bay.

By K.Steiner-Dicks on Oct 17, 2014

According to a news report by the South Wales Evening Post, this is one of the subject areas being examined for the environmental integrity of the proposed £850m tidal lagoon project.

Kenneth Pye Associates’ report (Pye, K. (2014) Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay: Outstanding Concerns Relating to the Impact of the Development on Coastal Processes and Morphology. Report prepared for Natural Resources Wales. KPAL Report No. 160915, Kenneth Pye Associates Ltd, Solihull), which was in preparation at the time of writing according to the consultancy’s web site, has reportedly stated that the potential impact of the proposed development on the dynamism of the foreshore and frontal dunes at Crymlyn Burrows, and its ecological implications, remain an area of “major concern”.

“There is also significant remaining concern regarding the potential impact on sedimentation on the Blackpill foreshore, and its potential implications for designated bird species," said the report.

Concerns also remained about potential impacts on the wider Swansea Bay area, including Baglan Burrows and the River Neath estuary.

NRW has acknowledged that there were "inherent uncertainties" in assessing the impacts of the land-attached lagoon, which would be a world first. But it said it did not feel the applicant's adaptive environmental management plan was "robust".

The examination is continuing, and a decision on the project will be taken in the coming months by the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

"The conclusion of the precautionary assessment, reported in the FCA, demonstrates no increase to flood risk from the sea at Mumbles as a result of the project,” said a Tidal Lagoon spokesperson in the South Wales Evening Post report.