Residents asked for views and feedback on emerging design proposals, plus options that will benefit the local community and environment. 

Anglian Water has launched the second phase of its consultation on the relocation of its waste water treatment facility for Greater Cambridge which will unlock the existing site for Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils’ plan to deliver thousands of new homes. 

The water company has shared its initial plans for the site and is asking for feedback on them from the local community and other statutory consultees. Respondents are also being asked to comment on how the site can benefit the wider community and environment. All responses will then be taken into consideration in developing the project further before it moves on to the next stage of consultation early next year. 

This second phase of consultation follows the extensive site selection process which identified an area north of the A14, between Fen Ditton and Horningsea as the most suitable location for the new facility. 

The proposals have been progressed to incorporate the feedback received by local communities in the non-statutory first phase of the consultation which took place in 2020 and with advice from The Design Council, an independent charity and the Government’s strategic advisor on design. Alongside new habitats for wildlife, existing footpaths will be added to and extended, creating improved access for non-motorised users to the Cambridgeshire countryside. A proposed Discovery Centre will also provide educational opportunities for local schools and communities. 

The initial design proposes that the 22-hectare plant will be screened by a wide circular earthwork bank, inspired by ancient Fen hill forts. The grassy bank will blend in with the surrounding landscape as it matures, both providing an immediate screen to the facility and creating new habitat for wildlife. 

This phase of the consultation will run until August 18, after which all feedback will be considered and presented back to the community as part of phase three consultation next year. 

Karen Barclay Head of the Cambridge Relocation Public Consultation for Anglian Water said: 

“We hope the local community is as inspired by this initial design as we are. We’ve drawn on everything from history and archaeology to the present day wildlife and community needs of the area to create what is a really innovative design for a waste water treatment facility. We’ve been guided by experts on how to create a facility that is sympathetic to the environment as well as cutting edge in how it provides what is an essential service to the city and its surroundings. 

“Most importantly, we are grateful for all the feedback we gathered during our first round of consultation, all of which has been considered as we developed this proposal.  

“It’s rare nowadays that a waste water treatment facility of this significance is built from the ground up, and we fully appreciate people and communities may be anxious about it. We hope our proposals can allay some of the concerns previously expressed and show that we are genuine in our intent to create both a really innovative facility and new space for wildlife, all accessible on new paths that link with the existing local network.”