Letter: Cardiff Bay barrage

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Sir: Following your feature on the Cardiff Bay barrage, Mark Lintell's letter (14 May) emphasised how necessary it is for us to change our attitudes if we are to achieve sustainable development for the future.

What perhaps he fails to appreciate is the clear presumption that maintenance costs involved in sustaining a successful development of this sort will be met from the very prosperity it is intended to generate. We must be assured that the development corporation's existing capitalised fund is sufficient to top up normal municipal funding to maintain the barrage.

It is change that some find so unsettling, yet many of us who have lived here all our lives, and who care deeply about our surroundings, see in this bold and imaginative scheme the opportunity to transform our muddy and rather dispiriting dockland area with new investment, more employment and a visually stimulating urban waterfront. As for the dunlin, they are unlikely to worry at the loss of one feeding ground when the adjacent 40,000 acres of Severn estuary mudflats provide an accessible alternative.

Our French neighbours have been building and living with similar barrages for years without providing any justification for the prophets of doom from whom we have suffered for so long. Go to Dinard or St Malo, and see the results of the Rance barrage, ask the opinion of those who live in the old estuary area, as I have done; go and see the Vilaine barrage below La Roche Barnard in Brittany and you will find a wonderful wildlife haven that has certainly been sustainable.

Yours faithfully,

COLIN HUGHES DAVIES

Chepstow, Gwent

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