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Area near Fen Ditton tops poll for site of Cambridge’s new sewage works

The preferred location for Greater Cambridge’s new sewage works will be revealed in January, with a site near Fen Ditton currently topping the public's choice as the most suitable destination.

Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant shortlisted areas
Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant shortlisted areas

Anglian Water is having to relocate its waste water treatment plant from Cowley Road so the site can form part of the north-east fringe development of around 8,000 new homes.

Three new locations were identified - two between the villages of Milton, Impington and Landbeach, and the third between the villages of Fen Ditton, Horningsea and Stow-cum-Quy - but no decision has yet been reached.

However, following a consultation, the results of which were released by Anglian Water this week, the Fen Ditton site looks to be most favoured - 52 per cent of respondents chose it as the most suitable. Land to the north west of Milton was backed by 8 per cent of respondents while 11 per cent backed an area to the south east of Impington.

Twenty nine per cent found none of the sites suitable.

Whichever site is chosen, Anglian Water will face objections and challenges from residents and businesses. As previously reported in the Cambridge Independent, groups from all three areas have already protested about the trio of sites being included in the original consultation.

Residents living close to the site deemed most suitable in the report - Horningsea and Fen Ditton - have previously raised concerns about the destruction of green belt land if the works move to site three, Honey Hill.

As well as location, the consultation collected information about potential impacts on air quality and odour, traffic, landscape and views, ecology and biodiversity, and local heritage.

Residents of Fen Ditton and Horningsea protest about plans to site treatment works near the village Picture: Richard Marsham
Residents of Fen Ditton and Horningsea protest about plans to site treatment works near the village Picture: Richard Marsham

Karen Barclay, head of the Cambridge relocation consultation for Anglian Water, said: “The feedback we received has been hugely valuable to our site selection and early design processes for the project and we are now carefully considering all responses before we conclude our site selection process in late January 2021.

“The relocation project gives us the opportunity to design and build a modern, carbon-efficient plant, using the latest technologies enabling us to continue to serve the needs of our customers across Cambridge and the surrounding area, including planned new developments such as the Waterbeach New Town, both now and into the future.”

Following the selection of a site, Anglian Water will launch a second consultation next summer about how the plant will look and operate.

A planning application is anticipated to be ready in 2022/23.

More than 5,000 people visited the consultation’s digital platform and virtual exhibition, generating more than 3,000 comments, Anglian Water said.

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