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 [] []

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

Save Honey Hill goes to the Edinburgh Fringe!

Horningsea/Fen Ditton resident, Liz Cotton, is currently at the Edinburgh Fringe with her show, 100% Cotton, In a Spin. Liz has been educating Fringe audiences about Anglian Water’s plans to foist its sewage works on Honey Hill from her own very personal point of view and in her unique and inimitable style. It sounds like this one particular reviewer really enjoyed it and we look forward to Liz bringing the show to Cambridge soon so we can all experience what sounds like a great evening’s entertainment!

https://fringereview.co.uk/review/edinburgh-fringe/2022/100-cotton-in-a-spin/

Letter to Cambridge News published 28th June 2022

Dear Reader

Anglian Water openly states there is no operational need to move its Cowley Road waste water treatment plant to arable Green Belt land just a mere mile from its current site (lunacy in this time of the climate emergency and predicted food shortages!); that they are being required to by the councils so that a brownfield site is created which can then be developed.

Ok….but….this is contradicted by the councils which say they are not requiring Anglian Water to move and that if it stays at Cowley Road, it will not adversely affect the plans they have for developing North East Cambridge.

It just doesn’t add up – it seems the proverbial wool is being pulled over all our eyes, someone is telling porkies or at least being highly disingenuous.

If Anglian Water was moving for operational reasons, it is fact that it would have to foot the bill not the taxpayer.  It certainly won’t be moving just for the hell of it – AW is getting an awful lot of stick over this project – it is of course already a very unpopular company when you bear in mind all the fines it receives for crimes against the environment. Not to mention the hefty salaries and bonuses the top dogs  receive despite these transgressions.

Who then is behind this costly, carbon heavy plan?  Why is Anglian Water moving? Why has the move been given Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project status? Why has the project been awarded £227 million of Housing Infrastructure funding (taxpayers’ money), roughly the same amount incidentally that Anglian Water (a private company) will pocket from the sale of the land at Cowley Road!

When will the leaders of City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils show some honesty and integrity towards the public and address so many unanswered questions which I believe only they can answer!

Yours

Catherine Morris

of Horningsea