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Planning for the Severn Estuary

17 June 2010

Cardiff University academics will join with other experts at a conference later this month to discuss key issues facing the Severn Estuary, including climate change and cross border working in the light of recent new legislation (21 June).

The Severn Estuary is a complex and challenging environment to manage; politically, environmentally and socially. The coastline has many uses, including ports, towns and extensive industrial developments alongside important agricultural and conservation areas. Ten local authorities and two national administrations share the shoreline.

The Planning for the Severn Estuary conference, organised by the Severn Estuary Partnership located at Cardiff University; Royal Town Planning Institutes Cymru and South West, will look at cross border planning issues for Wales and England.

Dr Rhoda Ballinger, from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences will look at enhancing local capacity for coastal climate change adaptation. Dr Ballinger will present findings, based on interviews with representatives of planning bodies around the estuary, which reveal that the perceived impacts of flooding around the estuary is currently the critical issue for planners.

Dr Ballinger said: "This event is an innovative and unique collaboration between Cardiff University, the Severn Estuary Partnership and the RTPI Cymru and South West. It provides an opportunity for planners around the estuary to learn about new legislation and topics such as climate change which could significant influence the way we plan for future coastal change."

Professor Roger Falconer, Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, will review the main proposals for acquiring tidal energy from the Severn, considered by the recent Government’s Severn Tidal Power Studies programme.

Professor Falconer will outline recent research undertaken by the University’s Hydro-environmental Research Centre on the impact of different operating regimes of any barrage structure, with particular application to a Severn Barrage.

University speakers will be joined by presenters from the Severn Estuary Partnership; environmental organisations and government agencies. The event is supported by the European Union’s Innovative Management for Europe’s Changing Coastal Resource (IMCORE) ( and Bristol City Council.


For more information contact:

Emma Darling

Public Relations

Cardiff University

T: 02920 874499


Dr Wendy Dodds,

School of Earth & Ocean Sciences.

Cardiff University


T: 02920 879401

Notes to Editors

1. Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

Visit the University website at:

2. IMCORE stands for Innovative Management for Europe’s Changing Coastal Resource. Funded under the Interreg IVB programme (, this €6m IMCORE project is led by the Coastal & Marine Resources Centre in University College Cork until its end in 2011. The project involves 17 partners across North West Europe brought together through unique partnerships of researchers and practitioners. The Severn Estuary is one of nine study sites which involves the Severn Estuary Expert Couplet Node is between Cardiff University and the Severn Estuary Partnership.

Cardiff University IMCORE Project Manager: Dr Rhoda Ballinger, School of Earth & Ocean Sciences. Email:

3. Severn Estuary Partnership (SEP) Set up in 1995, the Partnership is an independent, estuary-wide initiative led by local authorities and statutory agencies. The Partnership works with all those involved in the management of the estuary, from planners to port authorities, fishermen to farmers and many more, to promote integrated estuary management. The Partnership is housed within the School of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University.

4. Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) The RTPI is the largest professional institute for planners in Europe, with over 22,000 members who serve in government, local government and as advisors in the private sector. It is a charity with the purpose to develop the art and science of town planning for the benefit of the public as a whole. As well as promoting spatial planning, RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development.

The RTPI promotes research activity underpinning and evaluating planning practice, theory and education. It works with researchers and other partners, in both the UK and internationally, to develop projects and disseminate and publish outputs.

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