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Bideford Chamber of Commerce believes a tidal barrage across the Taw and Torridge Estuary could put Bideford on the map

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: August 01, 2013

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A TIDAL barrage across the Taw and Torridge Estuary could put Bideford back on the map according to the town's chamber of commerce.

The Journal revealed plans for the £240 million scheme to build a barrage across the estuary from Northam Burrows to Braunton Burrows last month.

The barrage would harness tidal energy through a series of turbines within the barrage, which could also have a road running along the top of it.

Now Bideford Chamber of Commerce has explained why its members think the scheme would be good news for Bideford.

Maurice Pearce, from the chamber, said: "The barrage would mean Bideford could have a permanent marina, there could be a water bus and the possible road which mean an extra connection into the town.

"The road could be a toll road so it would pay for itself.

"The barrage would have to be maintained so people would need to be employed for that permanently.

"As a chamber we need to cajole Torridge District Council to take a lead on this.

"You only have to look at the difference in Bideford when the tide is in and the tide out to see what benefit a barrage would bring.

"Having a barrage would be good for Bideford from a multi aspect point of view.

"If it goes ahead it would produce major income for Torridge.

"We would have thousands of people coming to the area just to have a look at it.

"I don't think there would be any environmental impact because the whole operation would be controlled.

"To make this go ahead it needs someone with a vision."

Keith Apps, who has put a proposal for a barrage to the district council and the Department of Climate Change and Energy, said he was still waiting for agreement from Torridge.

He said: "I still need the council to sign a disclosure in order to lease the land on the Torridge side.

"I am ready to move with it. We will get a weather system at some point which could cause a lot of damage and the barrage would protect the area from the potential flooding.

"The barrage would also mean that Bideford is put back on a par with Barnstaple."

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