In the news: designing Swansea's tidal barrage

Written by: Jim Dunton
Published on: 21 Feb 2014

Alister KrattPlans to create a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay that would both supply hydro-electric power and provide a new waterfront leisure area were submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in February.

Developer Tidal Lagoon Power’s proposals would provide generation capacity of 320 megawatts and create a new "maritime park" with a 9.5 kilometre seawall, a 3,500 square metre visitor, operations and maintenance building, and a 4,000 square metre international watersports centre.

The scheme has been masterplanned by LDA Design, under partner Alister Kratt

Kratt studied landscape architecture at Heriot-Watt University and joined landscape architects Woolerton Truscott after graduation.

He joined LDA Design as an associate 15 years ago and set up the practice’s Oxford office, which he runs.

Q: Other than the Swansea Bay scheme, what are your most significant projects to date?

A: I planned the Rookery South energy-from-waste scheme, which was the first Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) approved through the Planning Inspectorate.

We’ve done the masterplan for the main Center Parcs site in Woburn, and we’ve been working with EDF on a vision for the entire Sizewell estate for the past three years.

Q: And the Swansea lagoon?

A: This is the tenth Development Contol Order (DCO) that we’ve done in the practice, and its probably the most rigorously consulted of the DCO planning work.

It’s a really interesting project that’s bringing a new lease of life to a formerly industrialised area of Swansea Bay in a way that can both provide renewable energy and be very significant in terms of added tourism.

Q: How do the planning-related disciplines mix at LDA?

A: I’m not a chartered town planner, but I consider my role as ‘planning writ large’.  We employ chartered town planners in our practice and we are very much of the view that we live in a much more integrated world than used to be the case, to the degree that the actual disciplines that we need have more common ground.

The types of projects that we work with need a good interdisciplinary training whether you’re a planner, an engineer, or an environmental impact assessor."

The Planning Inspectorate is scheduled to validate Tidal Lagoon Power’s Swansea plans next month.