ANGLERS are being urged to join an action group and challenge a proposal to build a dam on the River Severn amid fears it will cause catastrophic flooding. Save Our Severn (SOS) has been set up by a team of Shropshire farmers and residents to counter Severn River Partnership’s plan, which would see a £40 million water barrier built on the river within one mile of Shrewsbury town centre.
The partnership, which is a consortium including the Environment Agency, Shropshire Council and Severn Trent Water, believes a dam would protect 2,500 homes south of Shrewsbury from flooding and pave the way for a massive development of up to 47,000 newbuilds.
Following an independent investigation carried out by SOS, however, the action group is arguing that the dam would be too small and could overflow within just 2.5 days of a full flood – submerging at least 10,000 acres of farmland and riverbank.
The news is a cause for concern for a number of angling associations, including Shrewsbury Anglers Club, which owns six popular stretches of the Severn in the area. Its secretary, Chris Wood, told us:
“Last winter’s floods were devastating and if we have similar cases, this dam could spell disaster. Aside from it creating a barrier to migratory species like salmon and eels, it’s likely we’ll see immense flooding.
“The dam will also need to release water to stem the floods which, depending on the volume, could remove large areas of gravel downstream and change the river’s topography. Local residents need to seriously consider whether they think this is the right course of action.”
Now, the action group is raising as much awareness as possible to highlight the damage a dam could potentially cause. SOS’s joint chair, Ed Tate, said:
“Flooding is a serious issue on the Severn and we want to see a good solution to the problem, but building a dam isn’t it. We’ll create a petition to try and thwart the plans, but making people aware of what’s happening is our primary goal right now.”
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