Update 13th March 2023

Dear all,

Update 13th March, 2023
Wins for Nature!

Paradise Nature Reserve

The proposal by Queens’ College to build adjacent to Paradise nature reserve
was turned down by the planning committee with a vote of 5 against and one (the chairman) in favour. Text of planning committee refusal. Queens’ College are appealing.

Adams Road Bird Sanctuary

The appeal by the developers who wanted to build by Adams Road Bird Sanctuary was turned down by the inspector.  Richard Buxton posting

A big thank you to all those who worked so hard to protect these loved city nature reserves.

FeCRA Response to Water Resources East regional plan

Thank you for all the comments. The FeCRA Committee response is here, link below.

FeCRA Response to Water Resources East Consultation – Draft Regional plan

March Newsletter from the Chief Planner

‘water resources are constrained, it will be important to consider including policies on phasing, water efficiency and water reuse in the next local plan’

Chief Planners Newsletter March_2023.pdf

Cambs County Council Green Investment Environment Committee 10 am March 16, Alconbury

Agenda includes key decisions on energy and water

Cambridgeshire CC Documents

Committee: Lorna Dupre (Chair); Nick Gay (Vice-Chair); Anna Bradnam; Steve Corney; Piers Coutts; Stephen Ferguson; Ian Gardener; John Gowing; Ros Hathorn; Jonas King; Brian Milnes; Keith Prentice; Catherine Rae; Mandy Smith; Steve Tierney

Contact lorna.dupre@cambridgeshire.gov.uk / nick.gay@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

Cambridgeshire is the largest public sector estate in England & Wales.

Business with the council / rural business opportunities

Policy over public sector land has been controversial

Guardian Article – Ex Tory minister tried sell off forests natural england role caroline spelman

The Ecologist article – Great farm sell spelman gives green light agricultural land sale

Agenda Item 6 ‘Update to climate change and environment strategy plans’

See Appendix, Nos 19, 20, 21 ‘the council is working with the Natural Environment Planning Policy Group and Natural Cambs LNP and the Oxford Cambridge Arc Partnership environment sub-group’.

The committee is asked to approve a Community Energy policy see “2.2 Local Opportunity ‘the council owns a large property portfolio which can offer greater scope for collaboration to support community energy schemes’ and is leading ‘Local Area Energy Planning’ for Cambs with District Councils, Cambs and Peterborough Combined Authority and key stakeholders UK Power Networks and the Universities’.

UK Power Networks is owned by HK businessman LI Ka shing. His group’s UK investments include Hutchison Port Holdings, the operators of Felixstowe Docks. Felixstowe Docks freehold is owned by Trinity College. In 2021 the Guardian reported ‘the Freeport East bid joins local authorities in Essex and Suffolk with two Hutchison-owned ports: Felixstowe, Britain’s biggest container port, and Harwich. As well as taking in major road and rail freight hubs, the free port would link to offshore wind and Cambridge University research programmes. [I]

Levelling-up: can the Ox-Cam Arc achieve this?

2.4.2 ‘On 3 Jan 2023 the government launched an open consultation with proposals to relax on-shore wind regulations as part of wider reforms.’

2.4.3 ‘The policy will focus on the Right Technology in the Right Place and will look to include onshore wind as part of this.’

4.2 ‘Engagement with the Rural Estate team to ensure suitability of Council land…whilst also recognising the role of tenant farmers in any discussions.’
Innovate UK has approved funding for a feasibility study to be carried out across Cambridgeshire to identify how to enable an efficient transition towards net zero by switching spending away from fossil fuels Innovate UK funding approved to support net zero action in Cambridgeshire

Cambridge University funds the Greater Cambs planning service.

CFCI.org.uk event – The future of Cambridge an update on the local plan to 2041

In his update to the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry, the Director of for Planning and Economic Development at Greater Cambs Planning said the local plan would need to show that it meets net zero targets for net zero and stressed the importance of supporting Cambridge University in this.

Innovate Cambridge team – Tabitha Goldstaub, Diarmuid O’Brien, Michael Anstey & Prof. Andy Neely Camb Univ Enterprise (vice chair of CPCA mayoral business board, the chair is Alex Plant, Anglian Water) are collecting views from people across the Greater Cambridge Region about net zero action in Cambridgeshire


Agenda Item 9 Cambs CC to approve the response to Anglian Waters Resources Management Plan
Anglian Water Sewage Works relocation and NE Cambridge masterplan

Cambridge News – Horningsea locals ‘disappointed and devastated’ over Cambridge sewage works relocation plans

Anglian water pulls sewage works relocation bid

Landsec, the UK’s biggest property company, control, following acquisition of U+I, the masterplan for NE Cambridge with development partners Anglian Water and Cambridge City Council.

Landsec puts £3-billion Cambridge Life Sciences and residential campus on menu

Ian Cheshire, Landsec chair is chair of the Food Farming and Countryside Commission (FFCC). [ii]

Dame Fiona Reynolds (FFCC), Chair of the National Audit Office and Camb Univ Bennett Institute Management Cttee is leading a Cambs land use project with Gavin Shelton, Director of CoFarm Estates Ltd. CoFarm is a lead partner on Cambridge City Council’s Sustainable Food Project. According to the CoFarm business plan, if demand for the project grows, ‘a patchwork of additional sites within and surrounding Cambridge will be sought and sites may be integrated into plans for new housing developments and new communities to ensure Cambridge’s rapid growth is sustainable and ensures a high quality of life for residents.’ [iii]

The Cambs Land use leadership group is working with Natural Cambridgeshire and the Natural Environment Planning Policy Group set up by Cambridge Ahead. [iv]

The Cambs land use pilot project is one of two pilot land use projects in England (the other is in Devon) which may inform national policy on land use.

FeCRA update 30th Match 2022

Natural Cambs Board meeting Sept 2022

NC Board MINUTES reconvened from 2nd Sep 2022 – 2nd Aug 2022 approved

Charity details

East of England still in drought

Water companies refused last summer’s request from the Environment Agency for a hosepipe ban. [v]The Times reported 3 March 2023 “Water companies plan to pump rivers if summer drought strikes : Sticking plaster approach would be disastrous for wildlife, says Environment Agency insider”

The Times article

River groups have advised FeCRA that ‘head streams from the chalk that feed the Cam & Ouse are already drying up, & the aquifers are virtually empty from last year, the water companies are going to find very little to pump from the rivers except sewage.’

The Guardian – March 1st – driest february england signals drought ahead – experts

The Guardian Feb 28th – narly 10000 oppose plan to pump treated sewage into thames london

Parliamentary petition link

Anglian Water draft WRMP24 consultation deadline 29 March 2023

Anglian Water – our strategies and plans / water resources management plan/

Give your views to Defra water.resources@defra.gov.uk stating your response relates to Anglian Water’s draft WRMP24. You don’t have to answer all the questions but you can state your views.

Feargal Sharkey has drawn attention on social media to a letter from Ofwat which states that, in the regulator’s opinion, for 30 years, water companies have been provided with all of the funding they need to fix the sewage system. Sharkey asks: “What happened to the money?” He says the catchment approach has failed chalk streams. [vi]

Anglian Water’s CamEO catchment manager is now ( linkedin) regional manager for the Rivers Trust.

OFWAT: David Black letter to Company CEOs Company compliance with environmental permits

The Guardian Oct 19th 2022 – English water firms finances concern interest rates rise big debts says expert

More than half of water bills in England help fund leading Chinese investment firms

In June 2022 the Financial Times reported: ‘Anglian Water, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of water and sewerage services, is paying a £92mn dividend to its owners despite rising customer bills and sewage and pollution failures’
FT Article

Our Cambridge survey deadline for commenting 26 March


Cambridge Econometrics who worked with SQW to provide economic analysis of the growth potential of the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Corridor are providing the evidence for a City Portrait which the GCP say will inform the decision about the congestion charge and Sustainable Transport Zone. Robert Pollack, CEO of Cambridge City Council who is on Innovate Cambridge’s Steering Committee, told Cambridge Market Stakeholders that the Portrait will also determine decisions about the city centre and Cambridge Market. [vii]

At 37 minutes this recording of the Council Meeting includes a response from Cllr Davey to John Preston’s Question about the City Portrait and Doughnut Economics.

(2) Council – Thursday 23 February 2023 6pm – YouTube

Next steps for the Oxford to Cambridge Arc

Westminster Forum morning, Friday, 17th March 2023 Conference Ox-Cam 2023

Spring events for diaries

TOMORROW – FRIENDS Of PARADISE: “AMPHIBIANS IN CAMBRIDGE”  a talk by Steve Allain Chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Amphibians and Reptile Group ( CPARG)

Tuesday 14 March, 6.30 pm Newnham Croft Social Club, Hardwick St.
Paradise Nature Reserve – talk on March 14th at 6:30pm

Hundreds of toads rescued on Chisholm trail in Cambridge/

Steve has established monitoring projects of amphibians within Cambridge and the surrounding area and is a contributor to ‘The Nature of Cambridge’. All Welcome.


30th March, 2023 – 6.30-9 pm St Philips Church Centre, Mill Road, Cambridge

Friends of the Cam are hosting their first in-person talk next month, featuring eminent geologist, broadcaster, activist and novelist, Bill McGuire. Bill’s latest book, Hothouse Earth, published last autumn, is frank about the environmental mess we are in and sets out the urgency with which we need to avoid the emergency becoming a catastrophe. He looks at, amongst other things, the vulnerability of East Anglia as both a drought and flood prone region, at risk of inundation with accelerating sea level rise. All very topical.

Booking via Eventbrite here – All WELCOME.

Best wishes,


[i] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/feb/04/free-ports-or-sleaze-ports-rishi-sunaks-dream-of-tax-free-zones-about-to-become-reality

[ii] https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/person/sir-ian-cheshire


[iii] http://web.archive.org/web/20230313184603/https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c780e06af468366c8ec02e8/t/5e56741b488e7a12a9f5e3ad/1582724128083/Design+Brief+CoFarm+Cambridge+December+2019+Version+1.3.pdf

[iv] https://www.fecra.org.uk/update-7th-jan-2020/


[v] https://www.fecra.org.uk/docs/Natural%20Cambridgeshire%20Partnership%20Forum%2014.pdf

[vi] https://twitter.com/Feargal_Sharkey/status/1635200621224812544?s=20

[vii] Market Square Liaison Group Meeting minutes 29th June 2022

Wendy Blythe

Chair, FeCRA


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