§ Mr. Stern
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the hydrographic surveys of the outer Bristol232W channel between Ilfracombe and the Gower peninsula were carried out; whether those surveys showed changes in sedimentation patterns in the estuary since the previous surveys of 1965 to 1972; what hydrographic surveys were conducted in 1988; what hydrographic surveys are being conducted in 1989; and when it is intended that the inner Bristol channel should be re-surveyed.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
The latest hydrographic survey of the area between the Gower peninsula and Ilfracombe was carried out between September 1987 and June 1988 by HMS Beagle. This survey did not show any major change in the general form of the seabed since the previous survey, which dates mainly from 1949.
No additional survey was conducted in this area in 1988. In 1989 work is in hand to survey the area between Port Talbot and Porthcawl by HMS Fawn. In addition, a contract has been placed by the Ministry of Defence for a further survey of an area along the southern coast of the Bristol channel from Lynmouth to Watchet and thence extending northeastward to the approaches to Cardiff and Newport. This work will complete the re-survey of the Bristol channel from the Gower peninsula to Newport with the exception of a small area in the approaches to Bridgwater. The remaining areas of the Bristol Channel are the responsibility of the port authorities of Bridgwater, Bristol, Cardiff and Newport.