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.

Honey Hill, Honey – Crap Community Choir

A choir with many people stood in a church

We are proud to announce that the Crap Community Choir has just released its new protest song, “Honey Hill, Honey”!

The choir was formed last year in support of the Save Honey Hill campaign, to stop the proposed relocation of the Cambridge Sewage works to Cambridge Greenbelt between the villages of Fen Ditton and Horningsea.

The song’s release coincides with the Planning Inspectorate‘s acceptance of Anglian Water’s DCO application to relocate the sewage works. Please visit “How to Object” to find out how you can have your say.

If you would like to hear more from the Crap Community Choir, here’s their first song: It’s Crap,

Enjoy!

Letter to the Cambridge Independent in response to the Planning Inspectorate’s Advice Notes to Anglian Water.

18th May 2023

Dear Reader

In response to this paper’s article dated Wednesday, 17th May 2023, which sheds a glaring spotlight on Anglian Water’s sloppy planning application to relocate its wastewater treatment plant at Cowley Road to Honey Hill, the Save Honey Hill team would like to thank the Cambridge Independent and, in particular, Alex Spencer, for bringing this to the public’s attention.

The article made for stark reading when you consider the consequences of this huge nationally significant infrastructure project and the equally huge £227 million that Anglian Water has been allocated to pay for the relocation.

This project is about a billion-pound private water company profiteering from a move that will release land that can then be called brownfield and sold off to developers for a huge sum that its shareholders will pocket whilst the taxpayer foots the bill for the move.

The Save Honey Hill campaign has long held the opinion that due diligence has not been given to the environmental impact of said move nor to the option of the sewage plant staying where it is and, if necessary, simply being upgraded. According to the Advice Notes published by the Planning Inspectorate, the planning inspectors clearly agree.  It is the validation that we are very happy to receive, but we are not so naïve as to think the story ends there.

We will continue to press home, at every opportunity, the many wrongs of this aspiration held by Anglian Water, Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council and undoubtedly the university colleges who own some of the land adjacent to the Cowley Road site.

We will also continue to press home that NECAAP (North East Cambridge Area Action Plan) is not in fact sustainable because in the Local Plan there is no mention of requiring the sewage plant to move to open, arable farmland in Green Belt near Horningsea, Fen Ditton and Quy, and no mention of the associated carbon cost of doing so.  This is plainly wrong and not what the people of Cambridge and the surrounding area deserve. It is a greenwashing exercise of the highest order compounded by the fact that as the Planning Inspectorate has pointed out in its Advice Notes, “…given the focus in the application document on providing a carbon efficient wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), consideration should be given to the inclusion of a comparative assessment for reasonable alternatives, including the ‘do-nothing’ option or the provision of the upgrade at the existing WWTP. Without these the environmental benefits of the proposed development are unclear.”

Your readers are also invited to consider that producing these Development Consent Order (DCO) application documents in the first place will have made a sizeable dent in the taxpayer-funded budget Anglian Water is working to. To have ignored the PI’s initial advice that its Environmental Impact Assessment report should include the demolition of the site and to omit it from its DCO application, shows a level of either arrogance or amateurism that is incredibly disturbing when this company is being tasked with building a massive new piece of infrastructure.

But then is this such a surprise?

Anglian Water is one of a number of water companies in the UK which is regularly fined for not doing its job properly. Its business (excuse the pun) is to treat and deal with our sewage in a safe and responsible way. Time and time again we see the evidence all around our coastline and in our rivers that it is not capable of providing that fundamental service and I can only draw the same conclusion when it comes to this relocation project. It doesn’t need to relocate because the one that exists is fully functioning and has capacity (by AW’s admission); the carbon cost of the project which is as yet unknown will be massive not least because of the shedloads of concrete needed to protect the Principal Chalk Aquifer (groundwater) at Honey Hill, that construction will need to provide!

We urge everyone to visit www.savehoneyhill.org and follow instructions on how to object to this Development Consent Order application if the Planning Inspectorate accepts it at the end of this month. Anyone can have their say and this is most certainly NOT A DONE DEAL!

Catherine Morris

Save Honey Hill Campaigner and Horningsea Resident

The DCO Application has been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate

The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has just accepted (24th May 2023) Anglian Water’s Application to relocate the sewage works for Examination and published the application documents .

The Save Honey Hill Strategy Team will review the 220 documents and put together our objections to put to the Planning Inspectors. As we understand more we will also update our Tips on how to Object page. This will allow you to also object.

For now we strongly encourage you to sign up for updates with the Planning Inspectorate. They will then send you an email when you are able to register and make an objection. (Relevant Representation). They will also email you when the Preliminary Meeting will be held.

Cambridge Independent: Anglian Water told to consider alternatives to Cambridge sewage works move

“Anglian Water told to explore Honey Hill alternatives”

Cambridge Independent

Cambridge Independent: Anglian Water told to consider alternatives to Cambridge sewage works move

Since resubmitting its application to the Planning Inspectorate at the end of April, further evidence has surfaced of the sloppy and unprofessional standards that Anglian Water continue to display not only when it comes to the many instances of pumping sewage in to our rivers and seas, but now also in the matter of its project to relocate the Cambridge Waste Water Treatment plant (CWWTPR) from its existing site at Cowley Road, Milton, less than a mile to the outskirts of Cambridge on Green Belt countryside between the villages of Horningsea, Fen Ditton and Quy.

The Planning Inspectorate also told Anglian Water that they had not considered the option of not moving the sewage works in the first place. They are not telling them to consider other sites, they are questioning the need to move in the first place!

Save Honey Hill

Within days of the resubmission, the Planning Inspectorate published its Advice Notes which were lengthy and damning in equal measure and made it abundantly clear why Anglian Water had been advised to withdraw its application first time round1

The application does not consider whether an upgraded plant on the existing site could address waste water treatment needs. The Applicant is advised to consider whether this potential alternative approach should be considered in the application and EIA.

Planning Inspectorate1

Incredibly, the Planning Inspectorate found 118 issues within the application documents, too many to list here, but ranging from instances of missing pages, text and references to significant failures to prove justification or need for the move which are sufficient to outweigh the adverse environmental impacts.  It is worth bearing in mind that this is the first case in England, possibly in the UK, of an application for a piece of major infrastructure where the fully functioning infrastructure already exists.

All this gives further fuel to the belief that Anglian Water is incapable of delivering on this project on time, within budget and to a standard that Cambridge deserves but more importantly, that this application should be refused and a thorough, immediate and long term upgrade of the existing site should be undertaken, an option that was never given due consideration in the early stages of the consultation process.

https://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/anglian-water-told-to-consider-alternatives-to-sewage-works-9313428/

  1. Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant Relocation Project – Advice on documentation following the withdrawal of the application 3 March 2023 [] []

Anglian Water resubmit their DCO application to relocate the Cambridge Sewage works to Greenbelt

After withdrawing its application in February, Anglian Water has now resubmitted it. The Planning Inspectorate will accept or reject the application by the 26th May, and if accepted, anyone can then register as an Interested Party in order to submit their objections.

However, until then we strongly recommend that everybody sign up to receive updates from the Planning Inspectorate.

Sign up for updates (now).

— Register as an Interested Party (once the application is accepted).

— Send in a Relevant Representation (once you are accepted).

Full and clear instructions are on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

If the application is accepted we will put clear instructions on how to proceed on our website.