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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 November 2006, 14:30 GMT
Council urges Severn barrage plan
Nasa view of the River Severn
A barrage could supply 7% of the UK's energy needs
A council leader has written a letter to the government urging them to consider allowing a barrage to be built on the River Severn.

A barrage on the river, with the second highest tidal range in the world, could provide 7% of the UK's energy needs.

More than 100 people who attended a recent conference on the subject are backing the letter from Peter Bungard from Gloucestershire County Council.

The letter asks for a "strategic evaluation" on a barrage plan.

Mr Bungard's plea also states that a barrage is one of "several other ways energy could be harnessed from the river" and calls for an investigation into other possibilities.

But environmentalists say a barrage would cause "irreversible damage" to wildlife.

The estuary is a special area for conservation and provides food for more than 63,000 migratory and wintering water birds.

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