Parish Council have responded to Anglian Water. The following comments are collated from the Agenda and Minutes of recent meetings.
Councillors raised initial questions to Anglian Water following the July Council meeting including concern about the impact of sites 1 and 2 on Heritage aspect of Mere Way and its use as a cycle route, and on the open aspect of the landscape as well as the Milton Cemetery which is close to two of the sites.
After further discussions at the Council meeting on 10th August Parish Council agreed a further response below, which was also included in a press release.
Milton Parish Council object to development of this kind of facility on Green Belt land, in particular where the proposed sites would reduce the separation between Milton and Histon and Impington. We understand that the existing strong protections for the Green Belt will be reinforced under the new proposals announced by Robert Jenrick MP. [In December 2009 a planning inspector emphasised the importance of the Green Belt in protecting Milton from coalescence with Cambridge.]
We note that the non-greenfield sites that were considered have been rejected primarily on grounds of their cost, that made them unaffordable from the available funds from the Housing Infrastructure Fund.
It seems that sites that were discarded in the earlier sift caused less environmental impact but required longer tunnels that would incur higher cost; whereas the three retained sites have a more severe impact on the Green Belt but have been accepted on grounds of lower cost. This suggests cost is influencing the decision to such an extent that it brings the ability to build a good quality high tech site into question.
Sites 1 and 2 would have significant impact on local businesses including specialised agriculture businesses, e.g. fruit farming, resulting in many job losses. Should the development of these sites go ahead, how would the affected businesses be compensated?
We have concern about the impact on local roads of additional HGV traffic both during construction and in future operation of the site.
We have concern that if the outflow moves below Baits Bite Lock there would be an adverse effect on water flows and quality.
A wind rose/proximity of population density analysis would strongly support Site 3 to minimise risk of odour impact to residents: Site 3 is distant from major housing population irrespective of wind direction, and even with the prevailing SW winds. Site 2 is much closer to dense population and the wind directions that may lead to impact are moderately common. Site 1 is the closest to dense population.
Please confirm what processes will be in place to manage and compensate for odour issues during equipment failure or maintenance?
We would prefer use of a non-greenfield site, but should one of the Milton sites be adopted then site 2 would appear to be less damaging to the environment and to local businesses.