Save Honey Hill campaigners point to ‘irony’ of government accelerating sewage works move to green belt
Campaigners opposing the relocation of the sewage works in Cambridge have raised concerns after the government spoke of “accelerating” the process.
The Save Honey Hill campaign group said there was “irony” in how the Prime Minister had said brownfield land should be used for development, when the new plant is proposed to be built on green belt land.
Anglian Water has submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) application to build the new Cambridge Waste Water Treatment works on land known as Honey Hill, in between Fen Ditton and Horningsea.
The new works are due to replace the existing facility in the north of Cambridge so that land can be redeveloped into a new North East Cambridge district, with thousands of new homes.
As part of plans unveiled by Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, aimed at “driving forward” development in Cambridge, the government announced: “Cambridge City Council, Anglian Water, Land Securities PLC and Homes England will work together to accelerate the relocation of water treatment works in North East Cambridge (subject to planning permission), unlocking an entire new city quarter – delivering approaching 6,000 sustainable well-designed homes in thriving neighbourhoods – as well as schools, parks and over one-million square feet of much needed commercial life science research space.”
But Save Honey Hill campaigners retorted: “Michael Gove’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has stated that brownfield should be used for housing before green belt is taken and yet the irony of North East Cambridge is that a major piece of infrastructure is destined for green belt in order to serve up the required brownfield.
“North East Cambridge has yet to go to public consultation and there is certainly no guarantee it will see the light of day in its current form of high rise, high density housing.
“We are extremely concerned that if this DCO is granted, we could face the prospect of the sewage works being relocated to green belt only to find further down the road that the North East Cambridge development doesn’t go ahead or changes in such a way that the move wasn’t necessary.”
The national Planning Inspectorate will decide whether to approve the sewage works DCO application, which has been accepted for examination.
Anglian Water has said the new facility will increase its capacity to be able to meet the demand created by new developments in the area.
Cambridgeshire County Council has recently said that it wanted to see more information about how the impact of the project on wildlife and people’s health will be reduced.