Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Planning Inspectorate questions 8,000-home North East Cambridge plan as a benefit of sewage works move





An examiner from the Planning Inspectorate has challenged Anglian Water over claiming thousands of new homes on the proposed North East Cambridge development as a benefit of moving its existing sewage works.

He pointed out at a hearing this week that the development does not yet have any formal planning approval and was not part of the application to move the Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant from the north of the city into the green belt.

Cambridge Waste Water Treatment plant proposal. Picture: Anglian Water
Cambridge Waste Water Treatment plant proposal. Picture: Anglian Water

Anglian Water argued the development cannot proceed without the sewage works moving.

The exchange came as the Planning Inspectorate considered Anglian Water’s request for compulsory acquisition powers relating to the move.

The water company submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) application last year to request permission to build the sewage works on land north of the A14 between Fen Ditton and Horningsea, known as Honey Hill.

The existing plants sits on a site proposed for about 8,000 homes envisaged at the new North East Cambridge development.

In March 2019, £227million of funding was allocated to Anglian Water and Cambridge City Council from the government to fund the relocation project.

Anglian Water’s waste water treatment plant in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Anglian Water’s waste water treatment plant in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Michelle Moss, from Eversheds Sutherland, representing Anglian Water at this week’s hearing, said the company’s aim was to reach agreements with landowners for land access rights and freehold purchasing, rather than using compulsory acquisition powers.

She said Anglian Water was confident that except for a “small number of parties” the company will be able to secure the land and rights it wants by agreements.

However, she said the powers requested were still necessary for the construction and future protection of the plant.

Mrs Moss said there were “overwhelming public benefits” from the project, including enabling North East Cambridge and providing additional capacity to meet the needs of future planned development in Waterbeach.

One of the examining planners, Alex Hudson, questioned how Anglian Water justified using North East Cambridge as a benefit of the DCO application when it is not part of the application itself, and pointed out that the development was part of the emerging joint Local Plan from Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council, which has yet to be examined or approved.

A CGI of Anglian Water’s proposed new waste water treatment plant
A CGI of Anglian Water’s proposed new waste water treatment plant

He said: “How was the compelling case justified if the redevelopment does not form part of this application?

“We have not got that as a tangible benefit as it does not form part of the application, and the proposals for this redevelopment form part of the emerging Local Plan that has yet to be examined and found to be sound.

“Where the public benefits stem from are not part of the application and there is not yet certainty as far as the Local Plan is concerned.”

Anglian Water’s waste water treatment plant in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Anglian Water’s waste water treatment plant in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Mrs Moss replied that the relocation was a “direct enabler” of the redevelopment as the land needed came from the existing sewage works site being vacated.

Save Honey Hill campaigners are opposing Anglian Water’s move, arguing the move will destroy the landscape there and is not needed operationally by the company. At an initial hearing last October, opponents of the move spoke about their concerns over the loss of green belt rom the proposed move and the impact on communities.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More