Today (24 February) Anglian Water is opening its third phase of consultation for the relocation of its Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant. 

This is the final phase of the consultation process ahead of the submission of a Development Consent Order application for the project. The consultation will run for nine weeks. 

This phase presents an updated design for the new facility and surrounding area, taking onboard the feedback received so far through previous public consultation, as well as from the community and technical working groups.  It will also provide a Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) which explains the steps Anglian Water is taking to minimise the impact of the project.   

The relocation of the waste water treatment plant will enable South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council to fulfil their long held ambition to develop a new low-carbon city district on Cambridge’s last major brownfield site located in North East Cambridge.  

Anglian Water’s design vision goes beyond just building a new plant or simply moving an old facility to a new location.  The new facility will be operationally net zero carbon and will also reduce the carbon used in construction by up to 70 per cent against a 2010 baseline by using sustainable construction techniques. It will mark a significant step forward in process efficiency and environmental performance of waste water treatment, and the new facility will provide greater resilience and environmental protection from improved storm management. This means storm overflows and Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) are far less likely to occur, and as Greater Cambridge continues to grow, the facility will be able to treat a greater volume of storm flows during periods of extreme weather, protecting the River Cam. 

Karen Barclay, Head of the Cambridge Relocation Public Consultation for Anglian Water said: “We are grateful for all the feedback we received during our first two phases of consultation, all of which has been carefully considered as we have developed these updated proposals.  Throughout this process we’ve been listening to the community’s questions and concerns. During this phase of consultation, we would like to hear views on the steps we’re taking to avoid or reduce potential impacts from the proposals on the local community and wider environment.  This will help to shape those areas where there is still scope to influence the project, ahead of submission of the planning application later this year.” 

Key elements on which feedback is requested include: 

  • The landscaping proposals including the extent of planting and the mix of species  
  • Opportunities to influence how visitors can access the area around the facility, and its improved connections to local footpaths, cycleways, bridleways and improved recreational connectivity 
  • The preliminary environmental information, including the assessment of environmental effects and proposals to mitigate these effects 
  • The design of necessary infrastructure beyond the site area including the proposed design for vehicles to access the site using junction 34 off the A14, and the tunnels and pipelines required, including those from Waterbeach, to connect to the facility and the outfall which will return recycled water to the River Cam 
  • The construction phase of the project, which includes the proposed construction programme and associated mitigation measures. 

In addition to the feedback received through phase two consultation, Anglian Water has also sought advice and guidance from independent specialists to inform the vision and design proposals. This includes the Design Council, an independent charity and the Government’s strategic advisor on design, and the local Cambridgeshire Quality Panel, an independent panel of built and natural environment experts. 

Around the site, the water company will be creating new habitats and improved access to the Cambridgeshire countryside.  

Karen added, “Looking after the wider environment and helping it to flourish is incredibly important to us. We have been working hard to increase biodiversity as part of our detailed design – this will now be a net gain of a minimum of 20 per cent on the area around the proposed location of the treatment facility. Delivered through the creation of new woodland and grassland habitats, new and replacement hedgerows, the site will complement ecological networks such as those proposed as part of the Cambridge Nature Network initiative.”  

Phase three of the consultation ends on 27 April. Once Anglian Water has considered all feedback, a Development Consent Order (DCO) application, including the Environmental Statement to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) will be submitted this Autumn. The application will also include a full Consultation Report, setting out how the feedback received through all of phases of consultation has been considered in the final plans. 

To view all documents including the PEIR visit the document library