Update on Sewage works proposed relocation – Development Consent Order

The Planning Inspectors

Dear Members and Friends of Honey Hill,

Save Honey Hill’s Strategy team worked hard behind the scenes to prepare for and participate in Anglian Water’s Application DCO Preliminary Meeting and Hearings in October1.

Since then, it has continued that hard work, together with our barrister, to draft our Written Representation to send to the Planning Inspectorate on 20th November. 

Despite the many hours that have gone into this, we have taken some comfort and hope from the Planning Inspectors’ forensic questioning of Anglian Water and local council representatives at the Preliminary Meeting and Hearings. 

We feel the Inspectors are really delving into the stated reasons for the proposed relocation and have a good understanding of our concerns and those of other groups such as Friends of the Cam, Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and the Parish Councils.

The following links will take you to all the videos of the hearings made available to the public on the Planning Inspectorate’s website (also available on YouTube).  You will see our barrister in action together with Ian Gilder, our retired Planning Consultant who, like all members of Save Honey Hill, gives his time pro bono:

Preliminary meeting

Open floor hearing 17 October 2023

Issue specific hearing one: first session

Issue specific hearing one: Second session

Issue specific hearing two

As soon as we have submitted our Written Representations, we will begin preparations for the next stage: a deadline on 6 December by which time we, and Anglian Water, may need to respond to questions from the Inspectors.

After that, Anglian Water will be required to comment on all the Written Representations by 18th December and following a short break for Christmas, the next Issue Specific hearing will take place some time in the second week of January 2024.

The Examination then progresses through more hearings and more deadlines until April ‘24 after which time the Planning Inspectors will make their recommendation to the Secretary of State DEFRA.

As you will see from the videos, this is a complex and lengthy Examination and it has been a challenge to estimate the funds we have needed for legal advice. Similarly, it is proving difficult to estimate how much more we might need to maintain the momentum. We are grateful for all your support and if you are able to make a donation, however small, it will help us to continue with the best possible legal expertise.

Having campaigned for more than three years, we are not going to give up now and even if funding for more legal help is not possible, we will fight to the end with the resources we have.

Details of how you and your friends can donate are here on our website:

https://www.savehoneyhill.org/fundraising/

Kind regards

Margaret Starkie, Chair, Save Honey Hill Group

  1. Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant Relocation []

DCO: Save Honey Hill’s Representation to the Planning Inspectorate

Double rainbow over a freshly ploughed field surrounded by green hedges.

The Save Honey Hill Group registered as an Interested Party (IP) sent our Representation to the Planning Inspectorate on Tuesday 18th July.

All 309 Representations have now been published. Go have a read of the many different ones from your neighbours and beyond. It is heartening to see such objective, personal and varied comments.

The Planning Inspectorate will inform all IPs of the timetable for the next stage – the Examination, which is likely to start in September.  At that stage anyone who has registered as an IP will be invited to make further comments in a Written Representation. We expect our barristers to give more input into that Representation.

During the Examination stage, which usually lasts six months, the Planning Inspectors will send questions to Anglian Water and to stakeholders for further information raised by the Representations. They will also hold issue-specific hearings.  We will keep you updated when we have more detail. There is more information on the NI website National Infrastructure Planning; all Representations will be published there shortly.

We are very grateful for your support and donations. We have budgeted for further advice but more income would give us confidence to use this even more effectively. So please spread the word to your friends and garner their support. More information on how to donate can be found on our website SHH – donate now.

Press release from Save Honey Hill on Michael Gove’s speech

Long term Plan for Housing – Cambridge

"It has recently been reported in the national press that Michael Gove who has aspirations for our City along the lines of Silicon Valley and Boston, America, is seeking to supercharge development in our area. 

He said the city compared unfavourably with Boston - the US city and region that is home to a science cluster and some of the country's leading universities, such as Harvard and MIT.

It has been suggested development could include up to 250,000 new homes prompting Anthony Browne, MP for South Cambridgeshire, to call the plans 'nonsense'.

To put it in context: this would be five times the current number of dwellings in Cambridge City, twice the number currently in the City and South Cambs combined, the equivalent to 30 NECAAPS and 25 Waterbeach New Towns. At current building rates, 250,000 new homes would take 100 years to deliver.

It will be very interesting to hear what the local councils make of these aspirations and where will the water will come from?

In a government statement published yesterday, it talks about accelerating the sewage works relocation to unlock an entire new City quarter ie. NECAAP, but this is dependent on the success of the sewage works DCO application to relocate the works to Green Belt.

Michael Gove's Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has stated that brownfield should be used for housing before Green Belt is taken and yet the irony of NECAAP is that a major piece of infrastructure is destined for Green Belt in order to serve up the required brownfield.

NECAAP has yet to go to public consultation and there is certainly no guarantee it will see the light of day in its current form of high rise, high density housing. We are extremely concerned that if this DCO is granted, we could face the prospect of the sewage works being relocated to Green Belt only to find further down the road that the NECAAP development doesn't go ahead or changes in such a way that the move wasn't necessary."

DCO Application: the time to object is NOW!

The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) is now accepting registrations (from Weds 14th June) from anybody to comment (objection/Relevant Representation) on Anglian Water’s application to relocate the sewage works to Green Belt.

The time window when you are able to register as an Interested Party and make a Relevant Representation (objection) is short.

Wednesday, 14 June to Wednesday, 19th July 2023.

After the 23:59 on the 19th July you will no longer be able to register.

There will be no further opportunity to do so either. This is your LAST CHANCE TO MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT.

However, if you register and submit a Relevant Representation before the 19th July, then you will be able to submit further comments at a later stage.

We have put together suggestions on what you can object to, and what you cannot comment on.

We will also be submitting relevant representations as a group and also as individuals. As we become more familiar with the procedure we will update this page with clear and concise instructions on what you need to do.

Sewage Works relocation application: PINS open for registration and objections from 14th June to 19th July 2023

A double rainbow over a green field with a dark cloudy sky

The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) have updated the DCO application page to say that you will be able to register to become an Interested Party and object between Wednesday 14 June and Wednesday 19th July 2023.

You need to register to be able to object.

We are currently reviewing the many documents that form part of Anglian Water’s DCO application and will keep updating our page on “How to Object” as we understand more.