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Wednesday, 13 March, 2002, 10:53 GMT
Ambitious 40m plan for Severn barrage
Cardiff Bay barrage
The Cardiff Bay project could be a role model for Bristol
A 40m scheme is being planned for a huge water park that could transform part of the River Avon in Bristol.

The construction of a deep water lock at the mouth of the river would create a clear water river from Avonmouth through to St Philips and St Annes.

The massive development would provide new sporting and leisure opportunities, and would reduce the mud banks and brown water.

The plans would be funded with private money, but would mean the development of some greenbelt land near Pill.

Public support

Grant Watson, senior partner of Alder King, leads the consortium beind the scheme.

He said the water park would be a massive boost for the people of Bristol.

"There are a lot of things in its favour and I'll be pretty disappointed if it doesn't win public support and enthusiasm.

"With the river very full, we can see the opportunities it creates for boating and leisure pursuits up and down the gorge."

Cardiff Bay
Bristol could emulate the Cardiff Bay project
In the past there have been several plans to dam the river but all have failed at an early stage.

"The main problem with previous schemes was that no-one could find the finances. We've come up with a proposal this time that we think is realistic," said Mr Watson.

"We would extend the development of Pill, certainly, but this is very modest in global terms and it is a realistic way of financing a scheme of this kind.

"There will be those who think the mudbanks as they are, are attractive, although I think the majority will feel that having nice clean water will be a much nicer proposal, but there are a lot of studies to do yet in order to get the scheme off the ground.

"We look across the water at Cardiff Bay and what a fantastic thing they've built there. We need the same thing in Bristol and why shouldn't we do it for once?"

Click here to go to Bristol
See also:

01 Jun 01 | Wales
Sparks fly at barrage opening
06 Jul 00 | Wales
Bay barrage '30m over budget'
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