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Waterbeach faces triple threat of construction projects, hearing on Anglian Water’s new sewage works hears

A ‘triple threat’ of major construction projects is faced by Waterbeach in the coming years.

Building work on the new town, the move of the new railway station and a pipeline to the proposed sewage works at Honey Hill will impact villagers.

A CGI of the new Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Works. Picture: Anglian Water
A CGI of the new Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Works. Picture: Anglian Water

A hearing on Anglian Water’s Development Consent Order (DCO) for the new Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant last week discussed the issue.

The water company wants to build its new plant on a green belt site north of the A14 between Fen Ditton and Horningsea, known as Honey Hill, which will free up the site around its current sewage works for the building of an 8,000-home North East Cambridge district.

Anglian Water says the new facility will also offer more capacity to meet the increased demand from the planned Waterbeach New Town.

But there were questions about the impact of construction traffic in the area would be managed at the Planning Inspectorate’s hearing.

Jane Williams, from Waterbeach Parish Council, said the cumulative impact on people in the village from the three construction projects needed to be considered.

She said they were facing a “mish mash” of different developers and project heads leading the various developments in the area and the parish council wanted to hear from them how the impact could be curtailed.

The Planning Inspectorate’s examiners questioned why people in Horningsea had given a commitment that construction traffic would not travel through the village when other places like Waterbeach had not.

They asked whether this would mean even more construction lorries past Waterbeach homes.

Paul Burley, one of the examiners, said: “There seems to be an awful lot going on in Waterbeach.Why was there an undertaking given to Horningsea as a village that nothing would go through the village. Why is all of the impact going to Waterbeach?

“Does the applicant have a view on the effect cumulatively in terms of traffic from three different construction works on people in Waterbeach? Could the effect be less if traffic was shared between Waterbeach and Horningsea?”

Gavin Wicks, representing Anglian Water, said the company had a “long-standing commitment” to people in Horningsea not to put construction traffic through the village.

He said there would be a “significant effect” on Waterbeach if all three of the construction projects took place at the same time, but said Anglain Water believed it had mitigation measures to help the impact.

Andrew Prior, also representing Anglian Water, said the construction work traffic travelling through Waterbeach was limited to what was needed for the pipeline work.

He said: “The pipeline work is relatively light compared to the main site works.

“There is an awful lot going on in Waterbeach and the impact on residents in terms of cumulatively all that traffic for housing, the station and ourselves.

“Our contribution will be very small - this is minor pipeline work.”

Mr Burley asked if Waterbeach Parish Council had been consulted on the plans from early on.

Mr Prior said the parish council had attended some of the initial meetings about the plans.

He added that he would be happy to speak with representatives of the parish council to explain how Anglian Water aimed to help manage the cumulative impact of the works.

Ian Gilder, from the Save Honey Hill campaign group, argued it would be “extremely unsatisfactory” for there to be a “stepping away” from the commitment made by Anglian Water not to allow construction traffic through Horningsea at this late stage in the process.

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