Tips on how to Object

How to object to Anglian Water’s DCO application to relocate the sewage works

The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has accepted Anglian Water’s application to relocate the sewage works for Examination and has published the application documents . The Planning Inspectors (also called Examining Authority or ExAs) will be appointed soon.

You are able to register as an Interested Party and make a Relevant Representation (objection) yourself from now until Wednesday, 19th July 2023.

The registration window is short and you will be required to make your Relevant Representation at the same time as registering as an Interested Party.

You have until Wednesday, 19th July at 23:59

After 23:59 on the 19th July, you will no longer be able to register and there will be no further opportunity.

However, if you register and submit a Relevant Representation before the 19th July, you will be able to submit further comments at a later stage. You could write a summary of your points now and add more details at a later stage.

How to register as an IP and submit a Relevant Representation

When you register you have to upload your comments immediately, you cannot format or use footnotes, you cannot save and add later, so you have to put everything in and submit at the same time.

Because of this, we recommend you compose your relevant representation (objection) in some other application on your computer (e.g. MS Word, Notes, any text editor) and when you are happy with it, copy and paste into the relevant box in the online form on the PINS website.

You are able to edit your objection before saving it but after you have submitted it, you won’t be able to make any further changes. So best to make sure you are happy with it before copying and pasting it into the form.

When you register you have to agree to a declaration.

If you cannot do this online, then the Planning Inspectorate suggest that you call their helpline on 0303 444 5000 to request a paper form. However, wait times of over 45mins are usual. The line is open Monday to Friday – 9:00 – noon.


How to write an your Relevant Representation (objection)

Here are some suggestions of what you could include in your Relevant Representation (we have illustrated and made more detailed suggestions here).

Your Relevant Representation will need to be as unemotive and rational as possible and cover as wide a range of issues as possible. Objections that just talk about ‘…destroying the Green Belt’ and nothing else will not count for much.

Please tell the Inspectors what really matters to you.  Depending on where you live this could be any of the following:

What you could include in your objection:

  • Impact on the conservation areas of Fen Ditton and Horningsea
  • Building on Green Belt is contrary to national and local planning policies
  • Construction and operational traffic between Horningsea and Fen Ditton Primary School12
  • Heavy carbon cost of replacing a working sewage works.
  • Possible threat to a Principle Chalk Aquifer3
  • The Principal Chalk Aquifer prevents sinking of structures as the existing site.
  • Impact on the approach to the historic city of Cambridge from the East.
  • Loss of recreational area important for mental health and well-being.
  • Industrialisation north of the A14
  • Impact on public rights of way and permissive ways
  • Impact on Quy Fen – a Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Impact on Wicken Fen4
  • Impact on the Cambridgeshire Dykes
  • Construction traffic for the Waterbeach pipeline
  • Effect of odour on school, residences and businesses
  • Taking away arable farmland which is helping to feed us (times of food insecurity)
  • Change of landscape from flat fenland to intrusive bund and digesters5
  • Effect on approach to listed buildings
  • Effect on wildlife and biodiversity
  • Lack of consideration given to keeping the plant where it is.

(Read more…)

The above list is given merely as suggestions and is by no means exhaustive. We will continue to update this list as we learn more.

Above all, it is really important to put your views across in your own words.

What NOT to include:

As always with planning matters, the inspectors will not be able to consider or be interested in the following, so best not to even mention them:

  • Loss of private view
  • The possible reduction in value of your house
  • Who the applicant is or its background (Anglian Water)
  • Other issues with the applicant (Anglian Water), e.g. state of the chalk streams, sewage leaks into the rivers/sea, etc.
  • Your personal circumstances.

When you register and submit a representation, your comment will be published on the Planning Inspectorate website and you will be asked to submit your address and contact details. Your name will be published alongside your comment but not your contact details.

Remember, please set out your points in your own words!


The Planning Inspectorate has published a set of documents explaining the process.

What happens next?

The Save Honey Hill Strategy team is currently reviewing the 200+ documents and putting together objections to submit to the Planning Inspectors. As we understand more, this page will be updated to alert you to any particular issues within the application which we feel are pertinent.

The DCO Application

Anglian Water’s DCO application comprises 218 documents. Because of its size simply navigating to specific documents may be tricky. However, the Planning Inspectorate has also published a useful guide to the entire application explaining the structure of the application and what the various documents are.

You certainly do not need to read all of these documents but you may want to look at the following ones:

Anglian Water has published its own guide but it is less useful as it does not contain links to the listed documents.


  1. Fears new Cambridge sewage works will lead to ‘sludge lorries‘ thundering along roads” Cambridge News 11 dec 2021 []
  2. Alarm that ‘dangerously overloaded’ road will be used for new Anglian Water sewage works” Cambridge Independent 16 Dec 2021 []
  3. According to DEFRA, Honey Hill is an area of high risk to groundwater contamination. It sits on a Principal Chalk Aquifer. []
  4. National Trust Wicken Fen Vision (2009) []
  5. Anglian Water’s Stage 3 Report, section 2.3.83 []