Letter from Karen Barclay (head CWWTPR) to Save Honey Hill
Many thanks for replying to our Phase Three Consultation, please find attached a copy of our reply to your consultation response.
Please also find attached a link to the Consultation Summary Report for your information. As you are aware, we submitted the DCO application on 31 January 2023 to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) for acceptance. We have since had constructive early discussions with PINS, and as a result we’ve asked them to pause the processing of our application while we provide them with some further information.
This is not entirely unusual with an application of this complexity, and we intend to provide the information within a matter of weeks. We don’t believe it will have any impact on the overall timescales for the project.
Head of Major Infrastructure Planning & Stakeholder Engagement
Following the Phase 3 Consultation on the proposed Waste Water Treatment Plant relocation to Honey Hill, Anglian Water has sent a targeted consultation to properties and groups in the area where changes to land orders might affect them, e.g Horningsea Road, Fen Ditton and Clayhithe Road. These include traffic management at Junction 34, temporary closure of the A14 between junctions 33 (Milton roundabout) and Junction 35 at Quy and Clayhithe Road. Save Honey Hill has responded to these proposals in the document below sent to Anglian Water on 12 August 2022
Here is the response to that consultation from the Save Honey Hill group.
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.
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.
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.
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.