HC Deb 16 February 1970 vol 796 cc1-3
1 and 2. Mr. Tilney

asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will make a further statement on the effect of a nuclear power station at Connah's Quay on the amenities of the Dee Estuary;

(2) what progress has been made in consultations regarding the plans for the reclamation of the Dee Estuary.

The Minister of State, Welsh Office (Mrs. Eirene White)

Preliminary engineering studies have established the feasibility of a multi-purpose crossing of the Dee Estuary. Further studies are now in hand to establish the best place for such a crossing. The implications of the possible location of a nuclear power station at Connah's Quay are being taken into account in these studies, and there is close and continuous consultation with the local planning authorities and the river authority.

Mr. Tilney

Would not the building of a nuclear power station wreck the chances of a multi-purpose reclamation scheme so beneficial to the North-West?

Mrs. White

At this stage, one could not possibly prejudge the advice which my right hon. Friend may receive from the planning consultants to whom this matter has been referred.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

Will the right hon. Lady admit that the first part of her Answer was known to us about three years ago? Were the reasons for the delays in carrying out a feasibility study purely economic?

Mrs. White

Not at all. This is a very complex matter. As the hon. Gentleman will appreciate, there are many factors to be taken into account—planning, engineering, water conservation, land reclamation, general social consequences, and, not least, relations between the populations on either side of the river.

Mr. Brooks

In view of the probability that any improvement in transport links across the Dee will lead to a great acceleration of population growth in North-East Wales, would not my right hon. Friend agree that any decisions arising from the Merseyside Land Use and Transportation Study should not be taken until the implications of this scheme also have been considered?

Mrs. White

I would not presume to judge what is best for Merseyside. All I am concerned about is that we in North Wales are left alone to make our own decisions.

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