Letter to Cambridge News published 28th June 2022

Dear Reader

Anglian Water openly states there is no operational need to move its Cowley Road waste water treatment plant to arable Green Belt land just a mere mile from its current site (lunacy in this time of the climate emergency and predicted food shortages!); that they are being required to by the councils so that a brownfield site is created which can then be developed.

Ok….but….this is contradicted by the councils which say they are not requiring Anglian Water to move and that if it stays at Cowley Road, it will not adversely affect the plans they have for developing North East Cambridge.

It just doesn’t add up – it seems the proverbial wool is being pulled over all our eyes, someone is telling porkies or at least being highly disingenuous.

If Anglian Water was moving for operational reasons, it is fact that it would have to foot the bill not the taxpayer.  It certainly won’t be moving just for the hell of it – AW is getting an awful lot of stick over this project – it is of course already a very unpopular company when you bear in mind all the fines it receives for crimes against the environment. Not to mention the hefty salaries and bonuses the top dogs  receive despite these transgressions.

Who then is behind this costly, carbon heavy plan?  Why is Anglian Water moving? Why has the move been given Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project status? Why has the project been awarded £227 million of Housing Infrastructure funding (taxpayers’ money), roughly the same amount incidentally that Anglian Water (a private company) will pocket from the sale of the land at Cowley Road!

When will the leaders of City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils show some honesty and integrity towards the public and address so many unanswered questions which I believe only they can answer!

Yours

Catherine Morris

of Horningsea

Donate now to stop a crime against our planet

Right under our noses, a Crime against our environment is taking place. Anglian Water is preparing an application to move a fully-functioning sewage works less than a mile to a new location on arable farmland in the Green Belt at Honey Hill between the villages of Fen Ditton, Horningsea and Quy. They are doing this with £227 million of public money too1. Save Honey Hill will challenge this application and need legal advice in its preparation and legal representation. Save Honey Hill need £50,000 to cover the cost of the required legal expertise.

This is our last chance to stop the relocation. Please donate whatever you can (no amount is too small):

£13k raised. £27k to go!
  1. HIF Award of £227 to unlock 9000 homes – Chancellors Autumn 2020 Statement/Spending Review p38 []

Redeclaration of the rights of the River Cam

The Save Honey Hill Community Choir was invited to sing IT’S CRAP (by Liz Cotton) at Friends of the Cam’s Redeclaration of the Rights of the Cam on Tuesday 22nd of June on the banks of the River Cam at Jesus Green, Cambridge.

It was a lovely evening. The sun was shining and many Save Honey Hill choir members attended alongside many other like minded groups from around Cambridge.

All the speeches and poems, especially those of Fiona Godlee (the former head of BMJ), a real mover and shaker in the world of climate change activism and James Boyce, author of “Imperial Mud: The Fight for the Fens” who talked about the history of the fight to restore land and river rights, echoed all our arguments. Cllr. Hannah Copley (Green Party, Abbey Ward) read her powerful poem about the climate earthquake that is coming.

Cllr Hannah Copley (Green Party, Abbey Ward) reading her poem.

Here’s the choir, with an introduction from Tony Booth of Friends of The Cam and a wonderful speech from our very eloquent Catherine explaining who we are and what we are fighting for.

RE-DECLARING THE RIGHTS OF THE RIVER CAM

On Midsummer’s Day almost a year ago Friends of The Cam declared that the River Cam had rights.

That declaration of rights included:

  • the right to flow and be free from over-abstraction
  • the right to be free from pollution
  • the right to perform its essential functions
  • the right to feed and be fed by sustainable aquifers
  • the right to biodiversity
  • the right to restoration
  • the right to maintain its connections with other streams and rivers.

On the first anniversary of that declaration Friends of The Cam will be redeclaring those rights.

Jesus Green Lock, 21st of June 2022 from 16:00.

  • Lots of Music
  • Poetry
  • Special guest speakers including Hannah Copley, Fiona Godley, James Boyce. John Lindsell.
  • Plus after 18:00 a chance to learn how to sing “IT’S CRAP” with the Save Honey Hill Community Choir.

Please do come and join in this celebration of the River that is such a part of our city and villages.

Here’s the Save Honey Hill Community Choir:

IT’S CRAP in the news

IT’S CRAP by The Save Honey Hill Community Choir has been covered by many local newspapers and shared widely on Twitter and Facebook since its release two weeks ago. It’s even been played on Cambridge105‘s Strummers and Dreamers show.

Our comedy protest song is against the unnecessary relocation of Cambridge’s sewage works to Honey Hill, a beautiful, unspoilt site in Cambridge’s Green Belt. The climate impact of demolishing one functioning sewage plant and building another, just 1.5 km away will be enormous.

The song was written by local resident Liz Cotton and was recorded in the village church. The music video is part of the Save Honey Hill campaign, active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Anglian Water will be submitting its application later this year to the government’s Planning Inspectorate.

Newspapers

Cambridge Independent – Listen to the extraordinary song from village choir fighting new Honey Hill sewage plant

Cambridgeshire Live – Save Honey Hill campaigners record song in protest of the building of a sewage plant ‘bigger than Wembley’

Ely Standard – ‘It’s Crap’ – Protest choir records song opposing new Anglian Water plant

Cambs Times – ‘It’s Crap’ – Protest choir records song opposing new Anglian Water plant

We are also included in the Planning magazine’s daily news roundup of planning matters:

Planning – Community group taps the power of comic song in battle against sewage plant relocation

Social Media

The Save Honey Hill Community Choir on Cambridge 105 tonight (Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May).

SAVE HONEY HILL COMMUNITY CHOIR is on Cambridge 105 tonight. The show is Strummers and Dreamers and starts at 7pm. We  are the 7th track of the show!  

The song has had nearly 2000 hits on YouTube and lots more on Facebook! 

Feargal Sharkey and Mary Beard have tweeted about it and we have had such a great response from people across the country on twitter.  

Well done Crap choir. We’re fighting, fighting with our song! Yeah .

Save Honey Hill Response to CWWTPR Phase 3 Consultation

Anglian Water’s Phase 3 consultation to relocate Cambridge’s existing sewage treatment works to Honey Hill on Cambridge’s Green Belt ends on the 27th April, 2022. This is the final consultation before Anglian Water submits its Development Consent Order application to the Planning Inspectorate

Here is the Save Honey Hill (SHH)’s response to the consultation. Everything Save Honey Hill does is aimed at stopping the application to relocate the plant to Green Belt at Honey Hill.  However, as with the phase 2 consultation, the phase 3 consultation is all about mitigation and provides residents with an opportunity to communicate their preferences to Anglian Water around traffic and access, odour, design, carbon cost, light and noise pollution and more. 

If the application is agreed, what we say now could lessen the effects of the relocation on our communities.

The  Phase 3 Consultation began on 24th February and ended 27th April 2022.

(Read more…)

26 April 2022

Save Honey Hill Group

Members of Save Honey Hill Group welcome the opportunity to comment on the proposals in the statutory Phase Three Consultation as set out in the Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant Relocation Document Library.

Save Honey Hill Group is a Community Group comprising residents from the villages of Fen Ditton, Horningsea, Stow cum Quy and Teversham. The primary objective of the Group is to challenge the proposed move of the CWWTP to an area of Green Belt between the villages of Fen Ditton and Horningsea known as Honey Hill.

While we are keen to engage with Anglian Water for mitigation, should the Development Consent Order be granted, we do this without prejudice to our stated aim to stop the relocation. Our objections include the fact that there is no operational need for the sewage works to move to an area of Green Belt, having sufficient capacity on site to be able to upgrade its facilities if needed.

We welcome the fact that residents of a wider geographical area in North Cambridge have been consulted in this Phase. However, Covid 19 pandemic restrictions since Phase 1 Site Selection process have restricted full understanding and engagement for many residents. Complete loss of Internet for Horningsea residents for 10 days during the Consultation period has also prevented them accessing documents and the interactive map.

A summary of our objections is attached followed by further details and recommendations for mitigation.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Starkie
Chair, Save Honey Hill Group


Our full response is available as a PDF here:

SHHresponse_AW_Phase3_Consultation26April2022

Last few days to have your say on the sewage works relocation to Cambridge’s Green Belt

Anglian Water’s Phase 3 and final consultation on the proposed sewage works relocation ends Wednesday 27th April 2022.

Even though this is all about mitigation, then you can still go express your concerns about loss of green belt land, odour, the huge carbon footprint of the move, access to the site, traffic and visual impact in a rural setting.  Cite the response to phase 1 consultation when more than 50% of people responding opted for the plant to stay at current location.

The responses can be filled in by every single person in a household so encourage every member of your household to do it.

If you do not have time then go fill in the interactive map

  1. Fill in the consultation online
  2. Fill in the form you received in the post
  3. Use these suggestions to help with your responses
  4. Get all your household to do it too.
  5. Ask all your neighbours
  6. Ask anybody with an interest in the area
Deadline is 11:59pm Wednesday 27th April 2022.

After that, any additional questions you have time to complete will be a bonus and we have prepared some suggestions we hope will be helpful.

sunset over diggers.

Q24 – THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN OBJECT TO THE RELOCATION.
You can express your concerns about:

  • loss of green belt land
  • odour
  • the huge carbon footprint of the move
  • access to the site, traffic
  • visual impact in a rural setting. 
  • Cite the response to phase 1 consultation when more than 50% of people responding opted for the plant to stay at current location.
  • It is also where you can add any comments to influence the design and the impact of a huge industrial site on the approach from the east to historic Cambridge
  • There is no operational need to rebuild. 
  • The design does not appear to be technically better than the current plant. 
  • Add concerns over stormwater control, pollution of the aquifer, effect on the River Cam.
  • State the impact on you personally.

0808 196 1661 – info@cwwtpr.com – FREEPOST: CWWTPR. 

Don’t forget to comment on the interactive map!

IT’S CRAP by the Save Honey Hill Community Choir from Cambridge

We, the Save Honey Hill Community Choir from villages to the north of Cambridge, are protesting the unnecessary relocation of Cambridge’s sewage works to Honey Hill, a beautiful, unspoilt site in Cambridge’s Green Belt. The climate impact of demolishing one functioning sewage plant and building another, just 1.5 km away will be enormous.

Join us in our fight to STOP Anglian Water relocating its Cambridge sewage plant to Green Belt. #greenbelt #sustainability

  • Anglian Water, a billion-pound private company, is being paid £227m of public money to move its Cambridge sewage plant to Honey Hill on Green Belt. The brownfield land left behind will then be sold to developers for housing as part of the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan (NECAAP).
  • The existing sewage plant was upgraded in 2015 and future-proofed till 2050, and Anglian Water admits there is ‘no operational need to move the plant’.
  • Honey Hill is between the villages of Fen Ditton, Horningsea and Quy and is the entry point to Wicken Fen, the most species-rich nature reserve in the UK.
  • It is valuable farmland, full of wildlife, and the site of prehistoric archaeological remains.
  • It is also in Cambridge’s Green Belt and should therefore be protected from development by government policy.
  • The sewage plant will be bigger than Wembley Stadium and floodlit. Huge structures will dominate the flat exposed fenland setting with multiple digester towers, over 20 metres high. Once operational, an estimated 140 HGV sludge lorries will enter and exit the site daily, clogging already busy local roads, adding to air pollution and compromising the safety of the children cycling to the nearby local primary school in Fen Ditton.
  • Anglian Water has not provided any figure for the enormous carbon cost of tearing down one functioning sewage plant and building another just 1.5km away.
  • According to DEFRA, Honey Hill is an area of high risk to groundwater contamination. It sits on a Principal Chalk Aquifer.

The music video is part of the vibrant Save Honey Hill campaign, active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Anglian Water will be submitting its application later this year to the government’s Planning Inspectorate.

Anglian Water’s Phase Three Consultation draws to a close on 27 April.

The Save Honey Hill Community Choir