BUSINESS leaders have expressed dismay at a city MP's opposition to the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal lagoon.
Swansea Bay Business Club has come out strongly against Geraint Davies's claims that the lagoon would harm tourism and the views of the bay.
The Swansea West MP said: "It would be a catastrophic mistake setting aside legitimate concerns over contamination of Swansea Bay and the depopulation of the Gower and its sands."
But his claims were countered by club president and secretary Bruce Roberts who said that local companies fully recognised the need for secure alternative energy supplies.
The club gave its formal support to the scheme after its members overwhelmingly backed the plans.
"Every business that took part in a survey by our policy group saw the lagoon as a positive development that would bring economic and regenerative benefits to the bay region," said Mr Roberts.
"Local companies saw significant economic benefits for the region from major schemes like the tidal lagoon."
It also has the support of Mr Davies's Labour colleague across the city, Sian James.
The Swansea East MP has been gauging the feelings of local people.
She said they had told her the scheme ticked all the right boxes.
"The feedback I get from constituents — and these are the people who matter — is that the lagoon will be good for Swansea," she said.
"Many who have attended the briefings say they were impressed with the attention paid to environmental issues."
The £850 million scheme centres on a six-mile, U-shaped seawall going from Swansea docks to near Swansea University's new Bay campus on Fabian Way.
The Planning Inspectorate wants public representations about the lagoon, which could provide power for 120,000 homes for 120 years.
Next month will see the long-awaited examination of what is one of Swansea's biggest-ever construction projects. Interested parties will converge at the Dylan Thomas Centre on June 10 for a preliminary meeting.
It marks the start of the examination process — which could take up to six months — rather than the merits of the application itself.
Swansea Council has until July 8 to submit a local impact report currently being worked on. The final decision rests with Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey.