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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Committee Manager  Email: democratic.services@cambridge.gov.uk


No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillors Bick, (Councillor Lee attended as alternate).


Apologies were received from Councillor Tong, (Councillor Bennett attended as alternate).




Declarations of Interest





Councillor Baigent


Personal: Member of Cambridge Cycling Campaign.

Councillor Bennett


Personal: Cambridge resident, member of the Green Party and Save Honey Hill Community Choir.

Councillor Porrer


Personal: Has a family member employed by Anglian Water:  Discretion remains Unfettered.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 306 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant Relocation Development Consent Order (DCO) Local Impact Report pdf icon PDF 406 KB

Additional documents:


Matter for Decision

To agree the draft Local Impact Report (LIR) for submission to the Planning Inspectorate in relation to the Anglian Water’s Development Consent Order (DCO) application to the Secretary of State for the relocation of Cambridge Wastewater Treatment Plant from Cowley Road, Cambridge, to a new site between Horningsea, Fen Ditton and Stow cum Quy, adjacent to the A14 in South Cambridgeshire.


Decision of the Executive Councillor for Planning, Building Control and Infrastructure

      i.         Agreed the Cambridge Wastewater Treatment Plant Relocation Project Local Impact Report in Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report, in respect of the Development Consent Order (DCO) application submitted by Anglian Water, and delegated authority to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development to submit the report on behalf of Cambridge City Council, subject to any changes made by the Executive Councillor and any minor amendments to the Local Impact Report required in the interests of accuracy or clarity.

ii.      Agreed to delegate to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, the authority to take all associated action necessary in the interests of the efficient and timely conduct of the Council’s compliance with the DCO procedures including but not limited to:

·      Prepare the Council’s responses to any written questions from the Examining Authority during the DCO Examination and to submit those to the Examining Authority.

·      Settle the content of and submit any Written Representations to the Examining Authority.

·      To negotiate, settle and complete any legal agreements relevant to secure the granting of a DCO pursuant to the application.

·      Settling and the submission of the Statement of Common Ground to the Examining Authority.

·      The instruction of witnesses and legal advisors throughout the Examination process.

·      The discharge of DCO requirements made under any development consent order granted by Secretary of State.


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, the Principal Planner and Senior Planner.


In response to Members’ questions the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development and Principal Planner said the following:

      i.         The response being provided from the Committee was on behalf of the City Council as an interested party in the Development Consent Order process. The City Council was involved with Anglian Water in the promotion of development on land at North East Cambridge. The assessment of Local Impacts in the report had been led by the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service on behalf of the City Council. There was therefore separation between the City Councils development interests and its role as the Local Authority responding to the Development Consent Order application.

    ii.         South Cambridgeshire District Council’s (SCDC) LIR had identified several areas that required further clarification and commentary relevant to the local area; there were also some similarities to Cambridge City.

   iii.         Collectively the City Council, SCDC, and Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) had sought to be  coherent and consistent where appropriate with the assessments and comments made.

  iv.         The three authorities were jointly instructing a single barrister in the presentation of each Councils position. 

    v.         One of the practical difficulties of the DCO process related to the timetable for responses by the Council to the Examining Authority. For this reason, consulting every time with the Executive Councillor under the scheme of delegation to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, would present difficulties. For this reason, and noting the previous delegation provided by the Committee to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, the report sought to confirm delegation to officers for the handling of the examination process.

  vi.         It was important to ensure a response could be provided (as authorised) in the time frame provided, rather than not to reply because there had to be engagement with the Executive Councillor. Because of the strict timetable set by the process, requiring consultation with the Executive Councillor and Opposition Spokes to any further submissions as a matter of course, risked Cambridge City Council’s views being excluded from consideration during the process.  

 vii.         If the delegation was to be changed/revised to require such consultation and engagement, then this would give rise to a need for additional staff resources would have to be deployed to the examination at an extra cost.

viii.         Officers would seek to share with Executive Councillor and Opposition Spokes information on the questions asked by the Examining Authority and officers’ response throughout the process. 

  ix.         The deliverability of the project would not be a matter for the City Council to consider in depth. This would be tested through the examination process.

    x.         Although the relocation was a joint venture partnership with Anglian Water officers could not comment on the functions of contractual arrangements. The Committee should focus on the potential benefits and the impacts if the project was to take place.

  xi.         Officers from various departments across the three local authorities had held several conversations with the Department of Levelling Up, Homes England and the Cambridge Delivery Group through Peter Freeman in respect of the work of the Cambridge Delivery Group.  Further information on these meetings could be brought back to the Committee; noted the request for a précis of the topics discussed.

 xii.         Noted the comment that all future reports brought to Committee on the proposed relocation of the Water Treatment Works should highlight all wards and not just East Chesterton on the covering sheet. 

xiii.         The Planning Inspectorate had issued a series of questions which related to the issues of impacts upon the public rights of way and of the impact from discharges of water treated at the proposed new site back into the River Cam. These were matters for the applicant to answer, not the City Council.

xiv.         Officers had highlighted various matters on the rights of use of the River Cam and public rights of way to CCC as the highway authority, to ensure that issues would be covered in the CCC LIR. This included the potential impact on boating and access to the River Cam during construction and the closure and diversions of public rights of way to Honey Hill and the surrounding area.

xv.         The matter of the visitor centre had been covered in the applicant’s submission; Officers had not considered what impact this would have in the city but had noted the comments for future consideration.

xvi.         The potential future impact of the wastewater transfer tunnel vent stack would likely be a material planning consideration for the City Council’s Planning Committee to consider alongside any proposals for the redevelopment of the existing Wastewater Treatment Works.

xvii.         The Water Resource Management Plan process took into consideration whether measures to secure future water supply and improved management that Cambridge Water were promoting would be sufficient impact to allow for the additional demand from this potential development and the Northeast Area Action Plan. This would be a decision for the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environment Agency in due course. The measures included proposals for bulk water transfer and a potential new reservoir in the Fens.

xviii.         If the DCO was approved, there would be a period of construction of the new water treatment works, followed by a period of testing and decommissioning of the existing water treatment works before new homes would be occupied on the site.

xix.         If the DCO was successful this would enable the objectives set out in the Northeast Area Action Plan to be progressed; however, new development would not start straight away and would only begin towards the end of the decade.

xx.         The DCO scheme needed to be assessed on the basis of the scheme forming the current application.

xxi.         Officers would require an Odour Management Plan to be submitted as a DCO requirement, the plan would have parameters in place. If an odour limit was exceeded in a certain location, there had to be mitigation in place. Environmental Health Officers were satisfied with the methodology and the approach that the applicant had put forward.

xxii.         CCC as the Highway Authority had carried out a transport assessment to look at what impact the DCO would have on the local area. It was suggested that traffic would be removed from the Milton junction, with reassignment of some traffic to the east. It was concluded the construction traffic impact (including heavy commercial vehicles) would be very modest when considering the overall number of vehicle trips currently on the network. Therefore, this wasn’t something that the CCC felt would justify an objection, however, mitigations measures were being considered.

xxiii.         Noted the comments that the points referenced in paragraphs 8.12 and 9.24 of the Officer’s report should be strengthened.

xxiv.         Officers were working with a wide range of stakeholders to understand the levels of risk concerning water shortages and the solutions and safeguarding the chalk streams in the local area relating to future development of the Greater Cambridge area.


The Committee voted 7 votes to 1 to endorse the Officer recommendations.


The Executive Councillor for Planning, Building Control and Transport approved the recommendations.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted).




To Note Record of Urgent Decision Taken by the Executive Councillor for Planning, Building Control and Infrastructure


Response to Government Consultation: Permitted development rights pdf icon PDF 316 KB


The decision was noted.