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Planning for the Severn Estuary

17 Mehefin 2010

Severn Bore © BallingerSevern Bore © Ballinger

Cardiff University academics will join with other experts at a conference later this month to discuss key issues facing the Severn Estuary, including climate change and cross border working in the light of recent new legislation (21 June).

The Severn Estuary is a complex and challenging environment to manage; politically, environmentally and socially. The coastline has many uses, including ports, towns and extensive industrial developments alongside important agricultural and conservation areas. Ten local authorities and two national administrations share the shoreline.

The Planning for the Severn Estuary conference, organised by the Severn Estuary Partnership located at Cardiff University; Royal Town Planning Institutes Cymru and South West, will look at cross border planning issues for Wales and England.

Dr Rhoda Ballinger, from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences will look at enhancing local capacity for coastal climate change adaptation. Dr Ballinger will present findings, based on interviews with representatives of planning bodies around the estuary, which reveal that the perceived impacts of flooding around the estuary is currently the critical issue for planners.

Cardiff Bay © BallingerCardiff Bay © Ballinger

Dr Ballinger said: "This event is an innovative and unique collaboration between Cardiff University, the Severn Estuary Partnership and the RTPI Cymru and South West. It provides an opportunity for planners around the estuary to learn about new legislation and topics such as climate change which could significant influence the way we plan for future coastal change."

Professor Roger Falconer, Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, will review the main proposals for acquiring tidal energy from the Severn, considered by the recent Government’s Severn Tidal Power Studies programme.

Professor Falconer will outline recent research undertaken by the University’s Hydro-environmental Research Centre on the impact of different operating regimes of any barrage structure, with particular application to a Severn Barrage.

University speakers will be joined by presenters from the Severn Estuary Partnership; environmental organisations and government agencies. The event is supported by the European Union’s Innovative Management for Europe’s Changing Coastal Resource (IMCORE) and Bristol City Council.

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