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 .

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

Friends of Save Honey Hill – Winter Newsletter


Dear Friend

Thank you for being a Friend of Save Honey Hill. Without your support, opposition to the Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant Relocation (CWWTPR) to Honey Hill would not be possible.

The First Proposals: Local Plan Consultation period ended in December. Once again many groups around Cambridge submitted highly critical responses. Read below to find out more about the growing alliance of groups against the vast overdevelopment that is planned for Cambridge. We continue to work and liaise closely with them.

Anglian Water’s Phase three consultation on the sewage works relocation is due to start. Save Honey Hill is still committed to stopping the relocation but in the meantime we must also be sure to get the best outcome possible for our village communities through mitigation, should our efforts to stop this fail.

Finally, don’t miss a wonderful interview conducted by Liz Cotton, who spoke recently to local author, Phoebe Taplin, on the various walks she has taken around this area. If anybody needs to be persuaded to respond to Anglian Water’s Phase Three Consultation, then just send them the link to the interview.

Kind regards
Save Honey Hill

Save Honey Hill is a community group formed to reject the proposal to relocate Cambridge sewage treatment works from Milton to Honey Hill, a beautiful unspoilt, quality green field and arable site between the villages of Horningsea, Fen Ditton, Teversham and Quy.

Read More

Anglian Water’s Surveys on Honey Hill and its surrounding areas.

sunset over diggers.

As is fairly obvious to anybody passing, for the past few months Anglian Water have been conducting surveys on Honey Hill. They are surveying the ground for where they propose to relocate the sewage works to. They are also surveying the pipeline that will bring sewage from Waterbeach New Town and also the pipeline that will discharge into the River Cam.

Some of these surveys are under permitted development and Anglian Water received planning consent for these surveys (21/03583/FUL) for the rest.

These photos show the size of these surveys and the associated mud and debris on the roads, pavements and cycle path.

 

Honey Hill Q&A: Liz Cotton interviews travel writer Phoebe Taplin, author of Country Walks around Cambridge.

Liz Cotton interviews travel writer Phoebe Taplin, author of Country Walks around Cambridge.

LC: Phoebe, you have been writing about walks all over Great Britain for many years. What makes for a really great walk, in your opinion?

PT: You can have a great walk in all kinds of landscapes, but my favourites usually have a mix of natural and historical interest plus somewhere to stop for refreshments.

LC: Can you tell us about the Harcamlow Way and why you wanted to walk it and write about it?

PT: The Harcamlow Way is a 140-mile walk, devised in the late 1970s by Fred Matthews and Harry Bitten. The whole route, as the slightly awkward portmanteau name hints, runs from Harlow to Cambridge and back in a giant figure-of-eight. When I first moved to the area, more than a decade ago, I saw the Harcamlow marked on Ordnance Survey maps and followed it to discover the local countryside in more detail. I loved it so much I walked it all several times and, when I realised the original guidebook was long out of print, I decided to write two new ones to help celebrate and preserve the route. The walk now has some colourful figure-of-eight waymarks along the way, which were put up by the Redbridge ramblers’ group.

New waymark for the Harcamlow Way

LC: So you must have walked all around Honey Hill?

PT: Absolutely! The Harcamlow runs near the River Cam through Fen Ditton and Horningsea and through the fen to Anglesey Abbey. Then it turns south again along Quy Water and over the fields to Quy Mill before it heads off towards Fulbourn. So the route makes a big loop around Honey Hill and it’s actually one of my favourite walks: past Baits Bite Lock, Biggin Abbey and the wild areas around Quy Fen. It passes the line of Fleam Dyke, a huge earthen bank and gully that survives further south and was probably built in the seventh century to defend East Anglia from the Mercians. It’s the ditch that gave Fen Ditton its name.

Baits Bite Lock between Fen Ditton and Horningsea

LC: And what have you most enjoyed on your walks here?

PT: So many things! I love the variety of wildflowers out in the fields and fens in summer: the water lilies and forget-me-nots, meadowsweet and bedstraw, clouds of white blackthorn blossom in early spring, the hops in the hedges and carpets of golden buttercups in summer, and the sound of the skylarks singing as they rise out of the fields.

LC: Did anything surprise you?

PT: I was amazed by how beautiful the landscapes around here are. I had an image in my head of Cambridgeshire countryside as flat and monotonous, but there’s really varied scenery along the Harcamlow Way here: river and fen, ancient churches in pretty thatched villages, wide open fields and tree-shaded corners. And I was really delighted to find how rich in history these peaceful landscapes are. The idea that Horningsea was a major centre for the Roman ceramics industry, churning out big pottery storage jars, is so cool.

LC: I know you’ve also written about other nearby villages, but can you tell the reader more about why Horningsea and Fen Ditton are so popular for visitors?

Walking beside the River Cam towards Fen Ditton

PT: People who live here already know why they are popular! As well as the wildlife and the history, there are some outstanding pubs here. Step into the little whitewashed Plough and Fleece on a Thursday night and it’s full of music and song with those gleaming horse brasses over the fireplaces and big candles in the cast iron range at the front. And the garden has those rattan chairs, ringed by hawthorn, sycamore and eucalyptus trees with a view over a field of horses.
There’s some lovely food at the Crown and Punchbowl too, a few doors down. And, heading the other way, that incredible riverside garden at the Plough in Fen Ditton… and that’s even before you get to the King’s Head and the Shepherds! These have to be the best villages in Britain for a rural pub crawl. We’ve had some great family walks along the Cam: spotting dozens of different types of geese and ducks in Ditton Meadows, the cherry blossom in the churchyard and rowing boat-shaped weather vane on top of St Mary’s. And watching the real-life boats on the river, of course, training in all weathers.

LC: You must have been shocked to learn of the plan to build a sewage plant on Honey Hill?

PT: Horrified. What could they be thinking of? The landscapes around Honey Hill are so full of wildlife and so rich in history. It seems quite cynical to abuse the regulations in this way that are meant to stop people building on the green belt.

Over the fields near Horningsea

LC: Finally, where can we buy a copy of your book “Country Walks Around Cambridge”?

PT: Since the Visitor Information Centre in Cambridge closed, you can only get it on Amazon now – or in the half-timbered Tourist Info Centre by Saffron Walden’s market. I wrote in the introduction back in 2015 about this area’s sights: “windmills and watermills, landscaped gardens and wild woodland, fields of poppies or glades of snowdrops.” So often, as the old Joni Mitchell song goes: “you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone”. I want to say thank you to everyone campaigning to celebrate and protect these beautiful places.

Anglian Water Phase 3 Consultation coming soon – get involved!

sunset over diggers.

A lot has been going on in the last couple of months but now we have reached a very important stage.

Phase 3 Consultation

Everything Save Honey Hill does is aimed at derailing the application to relocate the plant to Green Belt at Honey Hill. Anglian Water has scheduled the Phase 3 Consultation for mid- to late-February. It will run for 8 weeks and all residents will have the chance to comment. Those comments will go to the Planning Inspectors; it is a real chance to get over to them our objections and, if the application is agreed, to lessen the effects on our communities.

So look out for a leaflet from Save Honey Hill telling you what we consider are the important issues and please do complete the consultation when Anglian Water delivers their leaflets (you will be able to do it online or on their form). They will contact 10,600 properties so there is a good opportunity to make our voices heard.

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan

We have tried to influence decisions on plans for North East Cambridge because that is the reason Anglian Water and Councils want the plant to move. We have attended meetings at SCDC and Cambridge City Council, written letters to councillors, Government ministers and MPs, been quoted in local newspapers and generally made a nuisance of ourselves. We think the decision by both councils to approve the proposals for NECAAP is premature; there won’t be a public consultation on it until after the Planning Inspector has decided on the sewage works relocation.

Engagement with Anglian Water

We are also in discussion with Anglian Water at their Community Working Group meetings alongside representatives of the four Parish Councils. Although our aim is to stop the relocation completely, we want to influence the best design if it happens. This includes odour control, screening and maintenance of the trees used, size and location of the stacks, carbon footprint, light pollution and impact on the villages. One of the main concerns is the site access. Option 3 is our preferred access for both permanent and construction traffic as a dedicated service road from the layby on the northern carriageway of the A14 between Junctions 34 and 35 will have less impact on traffic flow and the pedestrian and cycle path on Horningsea Road and less risk to children going to school. If Option 1, Junction of A14 with Horningsea Road, is chosen, then Option 1B is preferable as being less disruptive to traffic and hopefully less likely to encourage HGVs to use the village roads of Fen Ditton and Horningsea.

Next steps

Everyone can help by completing the Consultation when Anglian Water publishes it. State your objections and let Anglian Water and the Planning Inspector know what you think must happen to make the plant less of a huge industrial blot on our landscape.

Our website (and this blog post) will be updated with direct links to the consultation when it is publishes.

North East Cambridge 8,000 homes plan slammed over ‘hidden green belt destruction’ Cambridge Live 14 Jan 2021

North East Cambridge 8,000 homes plan slammed over ‘hidden green belt destruction’

Cambridge Live – 14 Jan 2022

“Anglian Water is proposing to decommission the current site and build a new facility on land to the north of the A14, between Fen Ditton and Horningsea.

It was the impact of this proposed relocation that was criticised at the city council’s Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee meeting on Tuesday (January 11) when the plans were discussed.

Andrew Martin, representing the Save Honey Hill campaign, argued at the meeting that it was a “disgrace” that green belt land would be destroyed.”

“The very hidden consequence of NECAAP is the destruction of a large area of green belt at Honey Hill.

“It’s a bit ironic really that we are all talking about open spaces, green spaces and all that and yet this development and this potential move of the sewage works to there will result in a million tons of concrete being poured on to this site.

“It is a fantastic area, I use it for walking my dogs, cycling and people ride horses round there, it’s a very tranquil part and it’s only four miles from Cambridge.

“So we’re here talking about green space and open space and here we are doing a great disservice by planning to actually destroy it.

“I think it is an absolute disgrace really.”

Original article

Save Honey Hill Gazebo days!

The Save Honey Hill Group ran a series of gazebo events from the end of July through August in line with the CWWTPR Phase 2 Consultation period. The photos showed why we call them gazebo events…! Luckily it was generally sun and not rain we needed protection from!

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The objective of the events was to give our campaign a face and provide a link to the wider general public to inform and educate as many as possible about the consultation period which focussed on mitigation. The opportunity was also taken to highlight and discuss the wider issues of why the sewage works should not be relocated to Honey Hill (NECAAP issues, use of Green Belt, no operational need to move etc.).

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It has been generally agreed within the group that footfall did not see the levels experienced by similar events undertaken during the Phase One Consultation period in 2020 but nonetheless they were deemed a worthwhile exercise and group members manning the events were very encouraged by the resounding positivity and support received from the public. Holding such events during the pandemic was a tricky decision, but we made sure precautions were taken at all stages. There was a very small minority of people who stated their belief that the relocation was a good thing and that Honey Hill was the best place for the sewage works to end up. Interestingly, on the two instances I experienced this reaction, both individuals made their comments while passing through and neither were prepared to stop and discuss their rationale.

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We switched things up this year by trying a couple of different locations for the events eg. The Quy Fen layby and Teversham. Scotsdales in Horningsea were extremely accommodating for one of the events and permitted us our full gazebo set up – we are very grateful to them for their continued support.
Thank you to all those who helped with the events. Everybody put such a huge amount of effort into the organisation and making the gazebos well stocked with information and extremely eye-catching.

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