Update 7th March 2024

Dear All,

Update 7th March, 2024

There is so much going on that it’s hard to know where to start.

Greater Cambridge Partnership – meeting of the Executive Board 7 March

‘In terms of the Case for Cambridge this is good news for GCP’ says GCP CEO Rachel Stopard ‘covers £7.2 m for CSET’ see

The Budget covering Cambridge

Link below. Scroll down https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spring-budget-2024

The Case for Cambridge


Addressing Water Scarcity in Greater Cambridge


Joint Statement on addressing water scarcity


The Budget also mentions £10.2 million ‘to support the development of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus’ of which £7.2m will go to ‘unlock improvements to local transport connections’.See



Assessment of Cambridge BioMedical Campus Vision 2050 by Trumpington Residents Association Feb 2024 link below


Cambridge Approaches report on Transport Select Committee Oral Hearing 6/3/2-24

The “Case for Cambridge” and East West Rail – an aside on the environment link below

Transport Select Committee Oral Hearing 6/3/2024

Screenings of the award winning film Pure Clean Water


A serious message about Cambridge’s water shortage and chalk streams crisis, but highly enjoyable and very topical as Cambridge is to get a water credits system as part of the growth plan. The govt says it will allow developers to offset developments ‘through the purchase and sale of water credits to ensure they have a neutral impact on water scarcity in Cambridge’.

The film focuses on abstraction by Cambridge Water but Anglian Water, the development partner of the City Council and Homes England, run and fund the Cam Ely Ouse (CamEO) Partnership with the Rivers Trust, who are on the board of Anglian Water’s entity Water Resources East. WRE’s chair is Dr Paul Leinster.

Dr Paul Leinster chair of WRE is to chair the Water Scarcity Group.


He is on HS2 Design panel with Sadie Morgan Nat Infrastructure Commission, director of U+I (acquired by Landsec) on Homes England Board, Founder director of the Quality of Life Foundation and Tom Holbrook of 5thStudio


Cam Ely Ouse (CamEO) Partnership run and funded by Anglian Water with the Rivers Trust

It is not clear how reps for the Cam and the river’s green spaces are selected. See

Update 12th June 2023

or what the CamEO steering group’s terms of reference are.

Or how regulators on the steering group interact with CamEO members such as landowners, farmers and local business groups

Tim Breitmeyer DL

Residents say that reps on the CamEO steering group representing the Cam and its green spaces have not objected to the relocation of the sewage treatment works or Anglian Water’s ban on Cam navigation and user rights


They have not objected to Queens’ College’s Owlstone Croft development and the impact on the Cam Corridor conservation area Paradise Nature Reserve even though 2000 residents signed the petition.

Consultation on Defra Designation of Sheeps Green as a Designated Bathing Area (DBA) Deadline to respond 10th March

Defra have launched a national consultation into the designation of 27 sites as bathing waters including the river Cam at Sheeps Green. As in their previous response to Defra, Friends of Paradise say they remain concerned about the environmental impact of a Designated Bathing Area (DBA) on the nature reserves of Paradise, Coe Fen, Sheep’s Green and Lammas Land and have responded to the consultation to voice these concerns. It is an ecologically sensitive area which is already at environmental capacity and a DBA here would be very likely to have a detrimental effect on wildlife.

Residents may want to support this DBA application because they hope to get clean water. But the DBA is not about getting clean water. As the letter from the IIkley Clear Waters Group to the Water Minister shows (see link below), the promised clean-up as a result of their DBA status has yet, several years later, to be realised.


What are the objections to the Sheeps Green DBA ?

The site does not meet the stated Defra criteria for designation.

It is not a place that many people bathe at present. There are only ever a few swimmers apart from occasionally on very hot days.

There are no facilities specifically for bathing at this site.The 6 toilets at nearby Lammas Land serve the adjacent play area and paddling pool, and are far from adequate on warm days. Likewise the P&D car park, which is accessed via a narrow track and is also very busy in the summer.

The Council has stated it has no intention of promoting bathing here and in FAQs re the DBA application Cam Valley Forum also asserts that there will be no promotion of the site. This is important as there are clear issues of environmental capacity in this area, and risks to both wildlife and people. The ‘town bathing place’ was sited on the river here, but that was 50 years ago, and it was closed by the Council for safety reasons. It is now home to a canoe club with 600 members, and this area is also often very busy with the punts, kayaks and paddle boards hired out by Scudamores, mainly to visitors who are novices on the water.

The Cambridge Canoe Club, a private club with many out of town members, supports the DBA. The Club has just been allocated £40,000 by the City Council. It has recently put in a planning application which increases the club’s river frontage. Residents say that the club’s expansion is likely to mean more canoes on the river here.

The adjacent play area and paddling pool are very popular and attract people from a wide area. The site proposed for the DBA is a Nature Reserve in a Protected Open Space in which is a habitat for protected species including water voles.

The river is narrow at this point with willow trees which have roots and sunken branches that would need to be removed to make it safe for swimmers, with consequent harm to habitats for fish and other species.

Sheeps Green is grazed by cattle that form an important part of the management of the meadows. This is not compatible with many people bathing here. Residents recall a recent battle to keep the cows. Once grazing stops on Sheeps Green this council owned medieval open space will become a different, more municipal green space, subject to the same demands as other city green spaces controlled by the Visit Cambridge consortium which runs the city centre, such as Parker’s Piece which hosts the Big Wheel.

Part of the proposed DBA area where numbers of people entering the water were counted is a restored watercourse and fish-pass. It was not designed for bathing, and any increase in numbers using it would be likely to cause harm to wildlife

The two tests used do not look for bio-hazards such as viruses, infective bacteria or pharmaceutical waste products. The Cam has known low flow rates so could contain sufficient concentrations of these to be a health hazard

The Cam and its tributaries are bordered by present and former research and industrial sites such as Hauxton and Duxford that have produced, or are producing chemical waste that can enter the sewage system and/or leach directly into the river. A leak at Duxford airport in 2022 led to a national instruction to water companies to test water supplies for the PFOS chemicals involved.

You can respond to the consultation by email at bathingwater@defra.gov.uk

Or via Citizen Space: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/water/consultation-on-designation-of-27-sites-as-bathing

The Adams Road Bird Sanctuary planning application
The Bird Sanctuary is a Protected Open Space and City and County Wildlife Site within the Cambridge Local Plan 2018.

So, I am delighted to end with some good news!

6 councillors refused, 2 abstained so the officer recommendation to approve the planning application impacting the Adams Road Bird Sanctuary was overturned. See


A big thank you to all those who worked so hard to save the Sanctuary.

We should not be afraid to campaign for what we love.

Best wishes,


Wendy Blythe
Chair, FeCRA


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