Update 12th June 2023

Dear all,

Update 12th June 2023 

Friends of the Cam invite you to celebrate the declaration of the Rights of the River Cam, Jesus Green (between lock and tennis courts).

Declaration at 6pm, Celebration 4 pm to 9.30 pm

All welcome. Bring a picnic and invite friends. The free event with live music and choirs is great fun.


Report on Cam Ely Ouse (CamEO) Conference in Ely
links below include agenda details ; the event was not publicised.




 The conference was funded by Anglian Water who fund and run the Cam Ely Ouse Catchment with the Rivers Trust.  The Rivers Trust is represented on the board of Water Resources East. WRE was set up by Anglian Water CEO Peter Simpson, to plan for development. RSPB are also represented. FeCRA is informed that the National Trust is in the frame to be represented on WRE board.

The event included a presentation by Rob Mungovan, the Wild Trout Trust member of Cam Valley Forum Committee, on the dangers posed by dogs  to the wildlife of chalk streams and a presentatjon by Rob Martyr, City Council lead on the Greater Cambridge Chalk Stream Project.

Attendees also heard from construction expert Nick Balmer of the River Ivel Group. His talk included information on how few reservoirs have been built in this region. He also told the conference that the site selected by Anglian Water for their Chatteris Fen Reservoir had been previously investigated by industry experts and found to be totally inappropriate.

The engineer giving the presentation on water pipelines for Anglian Water was not able to answer a question about what targets for a sustainable water supply Anglian Water is working to and whether the targets they are working to will supply enough water for all the growth planned for this region. The National Environment Framework Summary states:

‘The south east requires around 50% of the national public water supply need’ See link below:


Charlotte Stannard of the Rivers Trust the organiser of the conference said there was a Cam Ely Ouse ‘steering group’ representing the catchment and its nature and wildlife.

FeCRA have asked for a list of steering group members.
It is important to know who is representing Cambridge and if there are any conflicts of interest, with so many local concerns about development plans including threats to the wildlife of Paradise Nature Reserve: plus concerns about plans that treat the Cam’s green spaces such as Lammas Land and Laundress Green, as transport corridors.

Result!  Here is the list of Members of the Cam Ely Ouse Catchment Steering Group

Beyond the Fen
River Lark Catchment Partnership
Cam Valley Forum
Natural England
Environment Agency
CURAT (Cam Upper Reaches Action Team)
Great Ouse Rivers Trust
Cambs City Council
Natural Cambridgeshire
Anglian Water
Harston River Rhee Group.

Note that it is not clear how this steering group has been selected.

There are transport and development plans impacting the Cambridge Green Belt and the Cam all round the city. This includes the 2 bridges over the River Granta for Cambridge South East Transport; the plans for East West Rail and all the development round Nine Wells and the Gogs.  Relocation of the sewage works impacts the river villages of Horningsea and Fen Ditton.

This pictorial record of an earlier CamEO meeting attended by FeCRA refers to ‘Balancing the Need’ and includes the question FeCRA asked “should rivers have rights” . The record was not publicised by Anglian Water or WRE.


Anglian Water environmental claims ad is banned for omitting their sewage record


Cambridge Water business plan for 2025 to 2030. 


Residents are expressing concern about the way water companies are hiding drought plans for the UK’s driest region and its driest city Cambridge from public scrutiny


The Times has reported that conservation groups say water company drought plans are ‘incomprehensible’ and that ‘water companies  are hiding the truth to avoid criticism & accountability…plans also rely on huge reductions in personal water use; we question if people will change water use if misled about scale of problem’.

So, I apologise for the very short notice but information about the meeting to discuss Cambridge Water’s plan has not been widely shared with Cambridge residents and green space and community reps.

See links in tweets below.




Crucial phase to Save Honey HillThe opportunity to register and object runs from June 14th to 19th July. YOU NEED TO REGISTER TO BE ABLE TO OBJECT. 

Save Honey Hill



Information including a map showing the landowners who will benefit financially from this development. Link below.


Honey Hill Protest Song “Honey Hill, Honey”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMBOu_rSbbk

The choir was formed last year in support of the Save Honey Hill campaign, to stop the proposed relocation of the Cambridge Sewage works to the Cambridge Green Belt between the conservation area villages of Fen Ditton and Horningsea.  Honey Hill recorded this new song in the beautiful setting of St Peter’s Church, Horningsea.

The song’s release coincided with the Planning Inspectorate’s acceptance of Anglian Water’s DCO application to relocate the sewage works. Residents say that making the song in the beautiful old church of this lovely village lifted everyone’s spirits. It was a great community day and enormous fun.


Honey Hill campaigners say they are extremely grateful for all your support to date and hope they may continue to depend on that by asking you to consider registering as an Interested Party and submitting a Relevant Representation (state how it will affect you). They will keep their website updated so please keep visiting.www.savehoneyhill.org.

Cambridge Biomedical Campus Growth Plans & the Local Plan.
Threats to The Gogs green belt

See the letter from David Plank, Trumpington Residents Association, link below


TRA highlight ‘hospitals on the CBC site which are of greatest importance by far to local people are not in the forefront of Vision 2050. Its growth aspirations lie elsewhere in the global life sciences world represented physically in a “global locality”, and a future “peri-urban quarter”**.

“We are concerned that even now despite this information being available in the public domain it is receiving so little public attention – despite it also being the only exception to the proposed strategic policy of no development on “the edge of Cambridge” in the Green Belt. Therefore, we want to raise the profile of this strategically important issue in advance of this year’s public consultation on a draft Local Plan – and to do so by seeking to involve other residents’ associations likely to be affected by the CBC’s plans’. Please share widely with all your networks and put people in touch with David.

FeCRA have also been approached by Rustat Road RA member and former FeCRA committee member Roger Crabtree. Many residents on the south side of Cambridge are very concerned about the loss of Cambridge’s lovely south east green belt Gogs setting and its beautiful views.

Anyone  who is interested to join with TRA and FeCRA to fight this proposed further incursion into the Green Belt is welcome to contact FeCRA and the Trumpington Residents Association at: davidplank@hotmail.com


Cambridge: Why were city flats built with no affordable homes?


Last year the BBC reported:

Cambridge city council accused of ‘greed’ for home sales overseas 


Developer Barratt Homes to demolish 36 new city homes due to issues with foundations


Many residents are saying what scrutiny was there before planning permission was given as rules and regulation seem to be in freefall. The chair of Histon Road Area Residents Association, a member of the Darwin Green Steering Committee writes:

‘They have been promising for years to have the health centre, superstore, community centre, library, primary school, secondary school etc ready but so far nothing has been finished and opened.  The closest is the Community Centre which they have refused to give the keys to the community officers, the library has now been delayed to March 2024, all infrastructure is delayed to 2026-2030 BUT in their advertisement of the homes for sale they claim it is all nearly completed.  At the last NAC meeting I raised the question about Franklin Gardens and their homes near the substation regarding the flooding”.

Some of you have highlighted that Barratt are a member of the land promoters and developers association who have been calling for much higher housing targets and the deregulation of planning. The information about Barratt Developments appears to have been deleted from the land promoters and developer association website. But it has been retrieved via web archive. The list of pdf members includes Lichfields who represented the BioMedical Campus expansion plans at the last Local Plan Omissions Site heading and the South Cambs developer Thakeham who feature in Private Eye and employ the former housing minister Brandon Lewis as a consultant, and Pidgeon.  Pidgeon Investment featured in NE Cambs Steve Barclay MP’s letter of complaint in 2017 to the Auditor General. links below.



Greater Cambs Partnership Assembly Meeting 8 June 

A really helpful twitter thread from reporter Hannah Brown which gives you a good idea about how this meeting went. Click on the link below.


Discussion of Greenways at GCP Assembly

Public questions about Greenways and Shared Use and Red Asphalt were asked by Al Hanagan and Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter of Riverside Residents Association. Newnham Cllr Jean Glasberg also highlighted issues raised about the width of the Greenways in some areas, and said there were concerns about the priority being given to cyclists.She said she supported improvements for cyclists, but said this should not come at the expense of pedestrians.

Laundress Green

Many residents are asking where are the cows? No cows all summer? Why? There are concerns that there may be plans to make the city’s urban medieval green spaces such as Laundress Green, transport corridors. See earlier update from 2019:


If you have have questions or concerns about these open spaces contact : Cllr Sam Carling College; the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces. sam.carling@cambridge.gov.uk.

He is on the Planning committee, He is also a rep on Cambridge University Planning and Resources Committee and the University Council and according to his linkedin, a Camb University trustee.



GCP Making Connections Consultation 

Neil Mackay the Managing Director of Mackays asked if there had been any impact assessment about the cost of the congestion charge for small businesses falling within the congestion zone

“During public questions in Cambridge City Council on May 25th I addressed the City Council. In doing so I had assumed that they had conducted a detailed impact analysis on the true cost of the £50 per lorry per day tax proposed and devised a means to scrutinise that data. I asked “What is that total figure and how was it derived?” I also asked “What will the total additional cost burden be for all Cambridge businesses that will fall within the currently proposed Congestion Charge zone?”

Why do I need to know?  Because my business receives between 6 and 10 deliveries by lorry per day!

Which I estimate is equivalent to £104,000 pounds per year out of pocket. Sadly I failed to receive an adequate reply to either question. Councillor Davey the newly elected leader of the City council stated that “The work that has been done to date on small business is not as we would like it!!” | would therefore like to address the same questions to the GCP Assembly in the hope that the organisation that has put forward the proposals for consultation, will themselves, have done some really rigorous work on this crucially important area, which is of great interest to not just the business operators within the area, but also their employees and customers.”

There are no small business reps on the GCP.

Cambridge ‘Big Tent’ Event 

We are hearing from Cambridge residents and communities all over the city and in the villages who are sharing concerns with us about the impact of greedy and unsustainable growth and deregulation  on their communities. Please contact the FeCRA Committee if you have concerns.

A ‘Keeping Cambridge Special’ event used to be hosted by the business group Cambridge Ahead:  https://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/pvl/vision/blythe.pdf


Best wishes,


Wendy Blythe

Chair, FeCRA




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