Anglian Water has submitted its detailed plans to the Planning Inspectorate for moving Cambridge’s sewage works a mile down the road to a new site on the Green Belt.

The Development Consent Order (DCO) documents will not be made public for up to 28 days while the Inspectorate considers the proposals for the new wastewater treatment site that Anglian Water would like to build on Honey Hill, between Horningsea and Fen Ditton.

Though Anglian Water has admitted there is no operational need for the move, it would allow Cambridge City Council to build a new city district on the brownfield site in Milton if the sewage works is relocated.

The water company had previously submitted its proposals to the inspectorate in January but then withdrew them for further work.

In March 2019, funding was allocated to Anglian Water and Cambridge City Council by the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to relocate the existing Cambridge wastewater treatment facility.

The relocation will unlock Cambridge’s last major brownfield site, known as North East Cambridge, for redevelopment into a new low-carbon city district as proposed via an Area Action Plan and a new joint Local Plan, which are both being developed by Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils.

This new district is expected to consist of 8,350 homes.

The proposals were resubmitted on April 28.

A statement from Anglian Water said: “Applications such as this are, unsurprisingly, highly complex and having had constructive early discussions with the Planning Inspectorate, the company asked them to pause the processing of the application in order to provide them with some further information requested. This is not unusual during with an application of this complexity, and it will not have any impact on the overall timescales for the project.

“Anglian Water has now provided this information in a resubmitted application on the 28th of April. The Planning Inspectorate now has 28 days to determine if the DCO application will be accepted for examination. Should the application be accepted for examination, anyone interested in the project can then register as an interested party. Interested parties will be kept informed of the examination process and invited to participate and have their say.

“A final decision whether to grant Development Consent could take place mid-late 2024 and will be made by the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.”

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