Update 23rd September 2023

Dear all,

Update 23rd September, 2023  

STOP PRESS Paradise Public Inquiry starts Cambridge Guildhall Tues 26th Sept ends Friday 6th October  

Queens’ College Appeal against the Council’s refusal of Owlstone development plans next to Paradise Local Nature Reserve. 

ALL WELCOME but your support appreciated especially at 10 am, Tues, 26th Sept. 

Come and support the bats, otters, kingfishers, herons, swans, ducks, water voles and fish of this unique and precious Cam Corridor Nature Reserve and a state primary school. For details of the Inquiry timetable see: https://paradisenaturereserve.uk/2023/09/18/queens-college-planning-appeal-update/


For FeCRA’s response to the Planning Inspector see link below. Thank you for your comments



You may have heard of a proposal to be put to Defra to create a Designated Bathing Area at Sheep’s Green, next to Paradise Nature Reserve. The initiative to create a visitor destination is ‘strongly backed by Anglian Water’ Cambridge City Council’s development partner, who are already under a criminal investigation for sewage pollution.


Anglian Water run and fund the Cam Ely Ouse Partnership with the Rivers Trust, a board member of Water Resources East. Link below


In 2019 plans for new visitor destinations mentioned working with water companies – see links for the meetings and who attended:




It is unfortunate members of the public, who included the former Secretary of Cambridge Natural History Society (Q1), were not allowed to ask their questions in person at the City Council Meeting. See Link below for questions: https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/documents/s63236/Full%20List%20of%20Public%20Questions%20for%20publication.pdf


The concerns raised were addressed in the written answers given. It is hoped the concerns raised will be considered by members of the Environment Scrutiny Committee on 5th October https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/mgMeetingAttendance.aspx?ID=4264

The committee chair is Christ’s College student Sam Carling, a member of Cambridge University Council and the City’s Exec Cllr for Open Spaces and City services.




Let us know your views about the proposal. 

Water justice: what happens when water is marketised? Why water is the issue of our time. Join Friends of the Cam and award winning journalist Leana Hosea, co founder of WATERSHED INVESTIGATIONS on Thursday, 5 Oct at 7pm 



River Campaigner Feargal Sharkey tweeted  https://twitter.com/feargal_sharkey/status/1704772172902719895?s=11&t=3kRQrEOEUJOYy9QzgRtX4w

The Times (Aug 24) reported that many expansion plans of Cambridge colleges encroach on the green belt





Water scarcity and sewage pollution is a big issue for Cambridge with all the development planned.

Prelim meeting ahead of Cambridge Sewage works Planning Inquiry for relocation of Anglian Water sewage works to the green belt 

October 17th, 9.30 Venue Hilton Cambridge City Centre, Downing Street 



Cambridge Independent reveals how Cambridge parks could be dug up to construct a green heat network  



Quotes from the article 


‘A City Council spokesperson said: “The feasibility study looked at potential heat sources in the city centre which the district heat network could connect to. The market square has been ruled out as a heat source”… This is believed to be due to the wine cellars that exist under the market square, belonging to Cambridge colleges and private businesses as well as underground cells connected to the Guildhall.’

The report estimates that 60 per cent of each of the parks could be dug up to accommodate the boreholes but that after the work was completed it would not cause “much visual impact”.’

‘One word of caution was noted in the report about the potential effect on Cambridge’s bridges. “The full network route also includes potentially crossing the River Cam. Due to the age, design, and conservation status of many bridges developing a cost-effective solution to the crossing will be key to inclusion of phases beyond the river.’


Extracts from the minutes of the Nov 2022 Cambridge Market Square stakeholders meeting 

‘no specific proposal around the roads but that is why we are aligning the [Market Square] development project with not only this heat network project but also GCP’s Road Hierarchy re-evaluation and the Making Connections project so that if or when there are any changes to plans that require any changes to roads or indeed any work that we might want to do on a Market Square improvement project, that they are all happening at the same time (as far is possible) and that we align them so that we’re minimising disruption over the next few years.’

‘The Making Connections proposed ‘congestion charge’ is currently one option being considered in a much larger piece of strategic work on transport and travel. It will be considered alongside a wide range of other issues when looking at the strategic pieces of work like the destination management plan and the visitor economy

Q “How does this relate to the [heat pump] contract with the Cambridgeshire County Council and Bouygues. Is this different?

A: There is no direct link with Bouygues at this stage…but we will be liaising with Cambridgeshire County Council as an important stakeholder in the feasibility study.’


Cambridge Independent reports ‘if successful, the officer’s report suggests that in future phases there would be an opportunity to connect the council’s housing stock and other housing in the city to the heat network.’

Bouygues Energies Total have a Smart City partnership with Shanghai-based Envision, the renewable energy company which provided much of the funding for the new Entopia building of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Envision, one of Cambridgeshire County Council‘s technology partners for developing Smart Cambridge and the data to support further City Deal Funding, featured in China expert Ian Williams’s talk at the last FeCRA AGM and his Spectator article and book “Every Breath you take”.



Tuspark/Tsingua Univ Holdings, another Chinese state organisation, the partner of Trinity College’s Cambridge Science Park, is funding the plans for the Science Park’s North East Cambridge expansion.



Trustees of the Quality of Life Foundation are setting up a Cambridge Urban Room charity. See link in tweet https://x.com/FloraBSamuel/status/1699501702167121984?s=20

  • Ian Cheshire, the chair of the Food Farming and Countryside Commission, is the Chair of LandSec. Sadie Morgan who was a U+I director, is a board member of Homes England and founder of the Quality of Life Foundation, works for the Food Farming and Countryside Commission. Link below
  • https://uk.linkedin.com/company/food-farming-and-countryside-commission
  • The Food Farming and Countryside Commission and Cofarm Cambridge are the lead partners on a Cambridgeshire land use pilot project.
  • See links below




Cambridge land use priorities  

Cambridge Zero Policy Forum on Local Priorities 




Cambridge University Estates are advertising for a Senior Project Leader with a proven track record in managing infrastructure projects, in some or all of the following types of projects: Heat Networks; Solar Farms; Rail projects (stations or lines); Data Centres; Power Infrastructure; Water and water company interface.


Cambridge University Centre for Landscape Regeneration is advertising a post to ‘explore the way in which communities and stakeholders perceive their landscape, its usage and conservation’.

The Centre is working with partners who include Natural Cambs; the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, Cambridge Zero Cambridge, the Land Economy Dept and ‘others’. Link below for the other partners. This information appears to have disappeared from the website..





Keeping Cambridge Special 

In 2016 FeCRA reported at the “Keeping Cambridge Special” event organised by founder members of Cambridge Ahead on what residents ( including the late Allan Brigham) had told us they felt made Cambridge special. Many of you shared photos:

“not just about architecture…the city’s human scale; beauty and the river and its green spaces”. Cambridge’s central conservation area, Cambridge Market, the city ‘s green spaces and Commons are world famous and loved and shared by all ages.


“Whichever way you approach Cambridge, you see grass, trees and lots of sky. The college gardens, parks and commons bring nature right into the town. Cows graze on Midsummer Common just five minutes’ walk from Marks & Spencer – and in the summer office workers and students eat their lunch beneath the willows trees that line the river at Coe Fen. At weekends Jesus Green becomes a giant playing field with games of every kind – from skateboarding to lacrosse. These spaces are vital to people’s wellbeing,” said Brigham.”


Best wishes,



Wendy Blythe

Chair, FeCRA




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