PLANS to harness tidal power in the Mersey Estuary would be disastrous for local wildlife, claims a Frodsham councillor.
“My big worry is the local ecology could be completely destroyed, including tens of thousands of wading birds in the estuary that depend on the tide flowing in and out,” said Cllr Tony Hinkins, who is urging the town council and residents to keep “a close eye” on the Mersey Tidal Project led by Peel Energy and the North West Development Agency.
The project team has completed the first stage of a major feasibility study designed to select a preferred scheme for generating electricity for the Liverpool area from tidal waters within the estuary.
It says it hopes to submit a planning application by the end of 2011, and the project team has announced a shortlist of options that includes a tidal barrage, tidal power gate and tidal fences.
Peter Robinson, Northern England Conservation Manager for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said he was concerned that a tidal barrage was still being seriously considered, claiming it could “bring flooding and potentially cause irreversible damage to the estuary”.
Peel says that in the run up to the planning application it will “seek to stimulate a discussion that includes local authorities and organisations, and especially people who live in areas surrounding the possible scheme site.”