DCO Hearings – Livestreams of Issue Specific Hearing 4 and 5 now available to watch

The Planning Inspectors

The livestreams and transcripts of Issue Specific Hearing 4 (13/14th March 2024) and Issue Specific Hearing 5 (9th April 2024) have been published by the PINS and are now available to watch/read.

As with previous hearings, they were broken up into multiple sessions and each recording is of a single session. Also, as with all previous hearings, representatives from Save Honey Hill spent many long days preparing for these hearings and asked pertinent and probing questions throughout.

The Planning Inspectorate’s Examination Period ends on the 17th April and the final deadline for submissions is 23:59, 12th April 2024.

Issue Specific Hearing 4 (ISH4) 13/14 March 2024

ISH4 dealt with the draft Development Consent Order and environmental matters.

Issue Specific Hearing 5 (ISH5) 9 April 2024

ISH5 dealt with traffic and transport related matters.

Notes on Transcripts

“This document is intended to assist Interested Parties, it is not verbatim. The content is produced using artificial intelligence voice to text and is unedited. The video recording remains as the primary record of the event.”

Cambridge Independent: “River Cam supporters urge rethink by partners of Anglian Water during protest in Cambridge”

As reported by the Cambridge Independent during one of the days in the recent Hearings by the Planning Inspectorate Friends of the Cam and others made their voices heard outside the Hilton Hotel where the hearings were taking place.

In the article a spokesperson for the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service is quoted. Part of their statement refers to “8,350” homes coming from moving the sewage works.

“A North East Cambridge area action plan is being prepared by the councils for a significant new city district on this wider area that has identified potential for 8,350 homes and 15,000 jobs as well as supporting facilities.

This figure of 8,000 homes has been used across many newspaper articles recently but this is very misleading. The truth is, the emerging Local Plan which takes us to 2041, shows that the councils are only expecting to be able to build around 50% of that number1. We know, thanks to the Planning Inspectorate’s hearings, that around 1,500 of those 4,000 can be built now without moving the sewage works at all. Save Honey Hill argues that the balance of 2,500 is just not a big enough benefit to the public to justify the move of the sewage works – it is not good value for money coming from the public purse and is not the exceptional circumstance needed to permit building on Green Belt.

Post 2041, housing is already planned in other areas that will accommodate the shortfall.

Save Honey Hill argues that the balance of 2,500 homes is just not a big enough benefit to the public to justify the move of the sewage works

Save Honey Hill
  1. Greater Cambridge Shared Planning – Local Plan First Proposals []

DCO Hearings Live streams now available

The Planning Inspectors

The latest stage on Development Consent Order (DCO) application examination by the Planning Inspectorate was three days of hearings (9th-11th January 2023) at the Hilton in Cambridge. The Compulsory Acquisition hearing and two days of Specific Issue Hearings.

As can be seen from the sheer number of recordings below the three days were long and detailed. Well done to all who attended.

The hearings were reported on by the Cambridge Independent, Cambridge News and beyond including the BBC.

Day One – Compulsory Acquisition Orders (CAH1)

As a group, Save Honey Hill is not affected by compulsory acquistion but nonetheless we were able to raise some very important questions as to why Compulsory Purchase Orders are needed when there is no compelling case to relocate the current Waste Water Treatment plant.

Day two- Issue Specific Hearing 3 on Environmental Matters (ISH3)

On day two, the Inspectors concentrated in great detail on Traffic and Transport both for construction and operational traffic and the impact on Junction 34 and the associated roads, and on Waterbeach in relation to the Waterbeach pipeline. Yet again, there were discrepancies and omissions in the Applicant’s (Anglian Water) documents which have to be corrected or questions answered by the next deadline (D4) on 22 January. This subsequently means more work for Save Honey Hill, reading the answers and commenting where necessary. The Inspector emphasised that Anglian Water and National Highways, and in some instances, Cambridgeshire County Council Highways, must talk to each other.

Carbon was also discussed and again the Inspector had searching questions with further questions raised by Save Honey Hill.

Day three – Issue Specific Hearing 3 on Environmental Matters (ISH3)

On the third day, which lasted a marathon 10 hours, Save Honey Hill raised important issues around Ecology, Water Resources, including Flood Risk, Historic Environment, Landscape, visual and design, and Green Belt.  Save Honey Hill was able to refute some of the points made by the council officer, although these were not accepted by the Applicant’s KC.

Recordings and Transcripts of the hearings

The final session of the long Day three on the Greenbelt

The hearings were all streamed live and these recordings are now available on the Planning Inspectorate’s website and YouTube:

You can view these and livestreams of all past hearings on the Planning Inspectorate’s Examination Library.

Cambridge Independent: “Planning Inspectorate questions 8,000-home North East Cambridge plan as a benefit of sewage works move”

Planning Inspectorate questions 8,000-home North East Cambridge plan as a benefit of sewage works move

As part of the ongoing Development Consent Order (DCO) application examination by the Planning Inspectorate, this week (9th-11th January 2023) has seen the Compulsory Acquisition hearing and two days of Specific Issue Hearings by the Planning Inspectorate at the Hilton in Cambridge.

Attention – Are you an “Affected Person”?

Anglian Water – Development Consent Order update

The agenda for the Compulsory Acquisition Hearing on Tuesday, 9th January has been published on the National Infrastructure Planning Website (CAH 9 Jan Agenda).

It is worth checking because some residents in Horningsea, Fen Ditton and Waterbeach are included as “Affected Persons”.

All three documents are searchable.

The agenda was only published yesterday so you can still ask to attend the hearing, either in person or virtually, by phoning 0303 444 3201 or emailing CambridgeWWTPR@planninginspectorate.gov.uk.

Update on Development Consent Order (DCO) process.

Deadline 2: Written Representations submission

Wednesday 6th December was the second deadline of the Examination on the Planning inspectorate’s timetable. We submitted comments on the City, District and County councils’ Local Impact Reports, the three Councils’ responses to Inspectors’ questions, Anglian Water’s replies to the Inspectors’ questions, comments on Natural England and the Environment Agency’s responses to the Inspectors and their Written Representations. Our barrister reviewed some of the documents but most were on our knowledge of the local area and what it would mean for residents.

Save Honey Hill submitted comments on the following:

  • comments on City, County and District Councils’ responses to questions from the Examining Authority (ExA – the Planning Inspectors)
  • comments on the three Councils’ Local Impact Reports
  • comments on Natural England’s, and Environment Agency’s responses to ExA’s questions,
  • comments on NE’s Written Representation  
  • comments on Anglian Water’s responses to the ExA’s questions
  • comments on Funding and Development Arrangement (that will have to be answered by AW and Homes England)
  • comments on Errors and Omissions in the Planning Statement

All documents submitted are published on the National Infrastructure website. This usually takes a few days as there are lots of them from the Councils, Anglian Water and other organisations.

Deadline 3: Save Honey Hill’s response to questions on our submissions.

The next deadline was 18th December when the Inspectors asked more questions and Anglian Water, the Councils and other organisations responded to comments made.

We replied to amendments which SCDC and City Council had made to their Local Impact Reports (LIR), comments by Anglian Water and the two Councils on Save Honey Hill Written Representation and Anglian Water’s comments on the LIRs.

  • Response to SCDC City LIR Amendments REP-2053 and REP2-044
  • Response to SCDC City Response to Save Honey Hill Written Representation
  • Response to the Applicant’s Response to Written Representations AW 8.13 REP2-038
  • Comments on Applicant’s Response to LIRs REP2-036
  • Save Honey Hill submissions for Deadline 3 and Further Submissions

Next steps

In January there will be more questions from the Inspectors and possibly some Hearings which we will attend. 

The Inspectors will be making an Accompanied Site Inspection in January so we have asked them to visit all the areas in the village which would be affected by construction and operation if the relocation were to go ahead. So you might see them at Waterbeach Station Road and level crossing, Clayhithe, Horningsea and the B1047 and A14 Junction, Low Fen Drove, Honey Hill itself, High Ditch Road, Green End and Horningsea Road, Fen Ditton. A representative of SHH will join them but only to help with navigating – no-one is able to try to influence them at that stage. 

Once again Anglian Water graces the pages of Private Eye..

Private Eye report again on the debacle that is Anglian Water’s Development Consent Order (DCO) to relocate the Cambridge sewage works to unspoilt greenbelt between the villages of Horningsea and Fen Ditton.

We’ve written previously about about the DCO process and the hearings. Also about the “ticking off” referred to in the article and other criticisms that the Planning Inspectorate have made in response to Anglian Water’s application. At every stage, including representations and hearings, Save Honey Hill have responded to the Planning Inspectorate and we will continue to do so until the end. It is reassuring that we are seeing signs that the Planning Inspectors are taking note.

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.