Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Waste incinerator at Waterbeach rejected

Saturday, 22 September 2018 15:34

Proposed waste incinerator at Waterbeach Proposed waste incinerator at Waterbeach

We welcome the decision by Cambridgeshire County Council to refuse planning permission for a waste incinerator at Waterbeach.

The waste incinerator, proposed by Amey Cespa, would be built at Levitt's Field in the Waterbeach Waste Management Park. The proposed incinerator site would contain an energy-from-waste facility to treat up to 250,000 tonnes of residual waste per annum, air-cooled condensers and associated infrastructure. We feel that the structure would have dwarfed all other buildings in the fen landscape, except perhaps for Ely Cathedral. In addition, views towards the cathedral, such as from Madingley Cemetery, would have been compromised.

Impact on the countryside

Had it been allowed, the structure, with its 80-meter-high chimney, would be visible for miles across the surrounding low-level and open fenland. The chimney would have been clearly visible from public viewpoints on higher ground such as Haddenham ridge and the cathedral tower at Ely. It's prominence, large scale and industrial appearance would have a significant and adverse visual impact on the local character and surrounding countryside. It would have a serious impact on the Fen Edge District Landscape Character Area.

Denny Abbey

The required built form to enable the incinerator to operate would have caused significant harm to the Denny Abbey English Heritage Trust site. The setting of listed buildings would be harmed, as would rare historic features within the Abbey itself. We were pleased to support Historic England and the English Heritage Trust in their objections, in addition to the residents of Waterbeach in their campaign.

Council obligations

We recognise that this must have been a very difficult decision for councillors to take because the county council is responsible for the management of waste disposal in this area. The council will now have to look for practical and cost-effective alternatives. We would like to say thank you to all those councillors involved in the decision for putting heritage, landscape, people and our unique fen-edge countryside first.

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