Developer Gareth Woodham has proposed a 1km wide ‘Barridge’ stretching from Lavernock on the north shoreline to Brean Down on the southern side that would generate more than 4GW of energy. Woodham has submitted a change of use application from the current Severn River to the Severn Lake that has been forwarded to the Department of Trade and Industry for consideration.

The Barridge, which will be some 20 years in the making, will include 14 hydro turbines – with seven inbound and seven outbound – producing 4200MW. This is in addition to a number of floating wave generation devices on the seaward side creating a further 1300MW electricity and consoling the sea within 2km.

Political support for such a scheme appears to be growing with the leader of the local Assembly Labour Party, Chanel Stevens, proposing a motion to the SW Labour conference to support a Severn Barrage as an alternative to nuclear generation. The measure, which passed at regional level, is now expected to be heard before the full South West Regional Assembly. If the proposal is passed, trade and industry secretary Alan Johnson has pledged to examine the concept as part of the current energy review process.