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 []

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 []

June 3rd Town and U+I – wolves in sheep’s clothing at Strawberry Fair

It would appear that the core site at NECAAP has undergone a rebranding.  Town and U+I had a stall at Strawberry Fair today where they were proudly showcasing the plans for ‘Hartree’.

Here are some of the visuals on display:

For me what really stuck in the gullet was the one titled ‘A Day at Hartree’ which looks at possible future resident profiles.  It talks about key workers alongside couples who have moved from London alongside ‘global citizens’ from other countries.  I wonder if key workers really will be able to afford these apartments, and if it is attracting couples from London and further afield, how can the development be addressing the housing shortage that locals are experiencing.

I spoke to one of the people manning the stall who said that the sewage works relocation and Hartree are two completely separate projects while in the same breath saying that without the sewage works moving the development wouldn’t be able to go ahead.  He refused to accept they are linked and we had to agree to disagree in the end but it was all relatively good humoured debate. 

I also pointed out that they were stretching it to describe the development as good for the planet, “an exemplar for development fit for the challenges for the 21st Century, enabling sustainable lifestyles, enhancing nature and accelerating the transition to a net zero carbon world.”  I pointed out that they were being, at best, disingenuous and that in no way can this development be described as exemplary development fit for the blah! blah! if it depends on moving a fully functioning sewage works (one that was ‘future-proofed’ a few years back to the tune of over £20m) to Green Belt, arable farmland and pouring millions of tonnes of concrete onto a principal chalk aquifer into the bargain.

Anyways, if you have the opportunity to put anyone straight on the development and what the consequences are, I hope some of this helps with your argument.

Catherine Morris

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!

Press Release in response to Anglian Water’s application to the Planning Inspectorate

Save Honey Hill campaigners are primed and ready for action now that Anglian Water has submitted its application to shift its sewage works at Cowley Road less than a mile to Green Belt agricultural land between Horningsea and Fen Ditton (Honey Hill).

The application has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate despite Anglian Water stating many times that there is no operational need for it to move. With the support of Cambridge City Council, Anglian Water applied to the Housing Infrastructure Fund and was awarded £227 million of taxpayers’ money, thereby funding a private company’s brand new plant without it having to go to its shareholders for a penny.

Save Honey Hill campaigners, who continue to be encouraged by the legal advice and direction they receive thanks to the generous donations of supporters, are currently preparing their responses even though they will have to wait to see the application in its entirety if and when the Planning Inspectorate accepts it within the next 28 days.

A Save Honey Hill representative says, “We have been preparing for this moment for the last three years and if this application is accepted by the Planning Inspector, we will be ready. Our commitment to fight this project and protect the precious, vulnerable countryside around Cambridge, its ‘green lung’, has not waned. The proposed site at Honey Hill is valuable agricultural land which currently makes a contribution to our country’s food security.

“The virulent expansion of Cambridge is seemingly going unchecked with little consideration given to the huge carbon cost of moving a major part of infrastructure such a short distance and with no operational gain

Save Honey Hill

“The virulent expansion of Cambridge is seemingly going unchecked with little consideration given to the huge carbon cost of moving a major part of infrastructure such a short distance and with no operational gain. We believe this project flies in the face of national planning policy and is a gross misuse of public money at a time of great economical fragility for our country.”

“Of course our villages don’t want this building project to go ahead with the associated impact on our communities of four years worth of construction traffic and other associated side effects. But we could accept it a whole lot better if we were getting something that was an improvement on what Cambridge already has. The site at Honey Hill is such a sensitive one in terms of setting and proximity to conservation areas and sites of significance, both scientific and historical. It will be there for all to see from all directions and yet the design of the plant is underwhelming to say the least. If this move really is as necessary as we are led to believe then why isn’t Cambridge being given cutting edge, state of the art and something to be proud of?”

If this move really is as necessary as we are led to believe then why isn’t Cambridge being given cutting edge, state of the art and something to be proud of?”

Save Honey Hill

In response to Anglian Water’s claims that the new ‘flagship’ waste water treatment plant will enable it to continue to provide vital waste water services to customers across Cambridge and the surrounding area that will be resilient and adaptable for future growth, Save Honey Hill say that the fact is capacity at the existing plant already allows for this – the site was ‘future-proofed’ less than 10 years ago at a cost of £21 million and has the room it needs to expand if necessary. 

The Planning Inspectorate now has 28 days to decide if it will accept the application for examination at which time the submission documents will be published and anyone will be able to register an interest to comment on the application at https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/eastern/cambridge-waste- water-treatment-plant-relocation/


Save Honey Hill Group

info@savehoneyhill.org

Save Honey Hill is a community group formed to reject the proposal to relocate Cambridge’s sewage treatment works from Cowley Road, Milton to Honey Hill, valuable agricultural land in Green Belt between the villages of Horningsea and Fen Ditton. Save Honey Hill objectors are against the relocation of the plant in principle. However, they also insist that if it is to be sited at Honey Hill the impact on neighbouring communities should be absolutely minimised.

Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant Relocation (CWWTPR)

Cambridge Waste Water Relocation Project (CWWTPR) is Anglian Water’s proposal to relocate Cambridge’s fully-functioning sewage works to Cambridge Green Belt just between the villages of Horningsea and Fen Ditton. With the support of Cambridge City Council, Anglian Water applied for £227 million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to pay for the relocation, the sole aim being to develop the vacated brownfield site for housing and commercial space as part of the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan (NECAAP).

Save Honey Hill, 2 February 2023

Anglian Water’s DCO application is imminent!

sunset over diggers.

The Save Honey Hill group

We have been working and fund-raising for nearly three years and now we have a date! Anglian Water has indicated that their Application to relocate the sewage works will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 30 January 2023.

It is not exactly a wonderful New Year’s present, but we are determined to put forward the best possible case to object to the proposal. The Planning Inspector (PI) has 28 days to review the application and decide whether to accept it for examination. He or she will publish the timetable and how to register to become an Interested Party to make a Relevant Representation (that’s the way we can state our case). The process is likely to start in March.

Thank you for the amazing support you have given us which has made it possible to get legal advice so far and more advice on our Representations once the documents are published.

You can see more about the process of a Development Consent Order (DCO) on the National Infrastructure website and we will keep you updated on our blog. We also aim to hold a General Meeting early in the year but in the meantime contact us through info@savehoneyhill.org if you have any questions.

All good wishes for Christmas and 2023.

The Save Honey Hill Cookbook

The Save Honey Hill Cookbook, full of some fantastic recipes from villagers and friends, is now on sale. The price is now £10 for one copy. Orders are very welcome and we can deliver. All profits to the Save Honey Hill campaign, against the relocation of the Cambridge Sewage works to Honey Hill, between Horningsea, Fen Ditton  and Quy. 

We still have calendars for sale at £10 each too.

For either please contact SHH. An ideal stocking filler for any of your friends or family!

Last Stand on Honey Hill – A review

Last Stand on Honey Hill by Liz Cotton at The Junction on 19th November 2022

Following on from her very successful stint at the Edinburgh Fringe earlier this year,  Save Honey Hill’s very own comedy songstress, Liz Cotton, finally brought her show, Last Stand on Honey Hill, to the Cambridge Junction on Saturday night.

With her marriage on the rocks and her children flying the nest, Liz has used a well-honed skill of writing comic songs to help her cope with all life can throw at her, including a billion pound private water company wanting to plonk its new sewage works on her doorstep.

Fortunately for the Save Honey Hill campaign, Liz took umbrage with these plans and decided to hang her new show around her escapades with some of the Save Honey Hill campaigners who she came to know during the course of writing campaign songs and putting together a campaign choir (The Crap Community Choir).

Saturday night’s show was a sell out and for good reason.  Liz’s reputation obviously preceded her and she did not disappoint – people had come from as far away as London.  I must confess, I didn’t really know what to expect.  Liz had warned us that her show was most definitely for adults only as it included very adult language.  But I could not have foreseen how clever and accomplished her writing skills are that her saucy and yes, at times very adult themes and language, were simply hysterically funny and not the slightest bit offensive.  Certainly for me, there was more than a hint of recognition in her song titled “Why Don’t You Know What To Do?” as she reeled off a myriad of examples of how her husband, Phil, ‘annoys’ her.

After briefly covering personal and family trials and tribulations, Liz proceeded to bring the audience up to speed with the ridiculous plans Anglian Water have for Honey Hill, ramming home with the use of video and photos, the beauty of the Fens landscape with resident wildlife, that’s being targeted by Anglian Water as the new location for its industrial plant.  Through the power of laughter, comedy and Liz’s adorable cat, Purdy, we were all reminded of why we have spent the last couple of years fighting this heinous plan and I for one am incredibly grateful to Liz for the injection of fun in what could otherwise have been a thoroughly miserable time fighting for our Green Belt.

At the end of the show, members of the It’s Crap Community Choir were on hand to join Liz on stage to debut a new number, Honey Hill Honey. They were greeted with rapturous applause and I even spied some younger members of the audience clapping and nodding approvingly with more than a hint of respect for these oldies getting down and strutting their stuff in the name of protest.

Finally, it did not go unnoticed that aforementioned, Phil (Liz’s long suffering [??] husband), was standing proudly at the back of the venue as we all headed to the bar at the end of the show.  Clearly their marriage has had a happy ending and hopefully so too will the Save Honey Hill Campaign!

Save Honey Hill Calendar for 2023

A special Save Honey Hill Calendar 2023 has been created in order to raise funds towards the legal costs of the the Save Honey Hill campaign. It is illustrated by photographs of the open spaces around the Honey Hill area, the photographs having been taken by local residents.

The deer on the front cover looks directly and challenging at us and reminds us of the wildlife that will be displaced if the sewage works goes ahead.

SHH calendar 2023 Front and back
The back cover shows the selection of photographs which reflect the seasonal changes in the landscape in the general Honey Hill area.



The calendars will be A4 size and cost £10 each, which includes an envelope, proceeds going towards the Save Honey Hill fund. They would make an ideal Christmas present for friends and relatives.


Please contact us to purchase a calendar

The deer on the front cover looks directly and challenging at us and reminds us of the wildlife that will be displaced if the sewage works goes ahead.