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Anglia Water trying to Stop Navigation on the Cam


matty40s

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In its determination to pump more sewage into our already polluted rivers, Anglia Water is now trying to ban navigation on part of the Cam where they want to build a new sewage outlet. 

The existing Cowley Road sewage station( sorry, water treatment works), is being moved to the other side of both the river, and the A14, not far from Bates Bite Lock. 

This will effectively cut to half width the Cambridge river section alongside the new plant.

(See how long it takes narrowminded world to nick the story)

 

 

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14 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

If they want less raw sewage discharges they are going to have to accept more sewage works, unless we all move over to composting loos

 

 

I thought that too.

 

A lot of opposition to dumping raw sewage in the Cam, and a lot of opposition to fixing the problem by building more sewage treatment capacity.  What is WRONG with people!!!

 

 

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Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the new STW, allowing such removal of navigation rights is the thin end of a very awkward wedge. In this instance the full width of the river is useful and the ban reduces the utility of the river. Once it is accepted that this can be done for something an STW, obstruction of a navigation becomes a matter of degree rather than fact - and where to draw the line will get more and more hazy. This year a sewage treatment works, next year, piers for a road bridge, ten years time because boats on my side of the river are noisy and spoil the view 

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2 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the new STW, allowing such removal of navigation rights is the thin end of a very awkward wedge. In this instance the full width of the river is useful and the ban reduces the utility of the river. Once it is accepted that this can be done for something an STW, obstruction of a navigation becomes a matter of degree rather than fact - and where to draw the line will get more and more hazy. This year a sewage treatment works, next year, piers for a road bridge, ten years time because boats on my side of the river are noisy and spoil the view 

2+2=17

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17 minutes ago, Paul C said:

2+2=17

Unfortunately in this country, it often does. Because we have no specific rights, bits of what we are allowed to do get chipped away incrementally, or stuff we own or can use vanish bit by bit. Precedent is used to advance another tiny step. The loss of free space or navigation rights proceeds almost unnoticed, like a footpath being illegally blocked, then closed because no one has used it. Which will be the same argument for effectively closing some canals.

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Reading the article it says that the outlet is going to be built half way across the river.

 

The request to extinguish the navigation rights (presumably PRN) only applies to the area occupied by the construction which would be physically impossible to navigate on. 

 

The question seems to be 'why do you need to have half of the river? Surely if they own the land they could construct on the land itself and have outlets. 

 

Maybe there is an obvious reason but I wonder if they are having problems acquiring the necessary land. 

 

Its preposterous and should not be allowed to happen. 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Unfortunately in this country, it often does. Because we have no specific rights, bits of what we are allowed to do get chipped away incrementally, or stuff we own or can use vanish bit by bit. Precedent is used to advance another tiny step. The loss of free space or navigation rights proceeds almost unnoticed, like a footpath being illegally blocked, then closed because no one has used it. Which will be the same argument for effectively closing some canals.

 

But there's a framework for decisions to be made upon, and two sides to every story. For example, in a general sense, while you say "rights are being chipped away", others might say "no good reason except tradition and obstinance prevents worthwhile developments or change".

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I find the idea of building a shit farm on a site called 'Honey Hill' mildly titillating. 

Wrong word. Amusing. 

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I hope I can offer some reassurance here, as I am a Cam Conservator. We have been discussing this a lot for quite some time (and certainly since I joined in January 2023), to understand the nature of the structure, and the impact on navigation a) during construction and b) when built; and what that means for the powers AW are seeking.

We have submitted lots of questions to Anglian Water, and as you can see from this article the Planning Inspector has just held the initial scoping meeting at the start of the process of approving the works. The Environment Agency will of course have a major interest - we are just the navigation authority.

Here's a drawing of the proposed outfall - on the opposite side of the river to the existing one which will be removed. It does involve works to protect the bed from scouring, but the bulk of the concrete structure is actually behind the river edge. 

We are also interested in the rest of the project, which collects sewage from as far down as Waterbeach and pipes it south (upstream) to the new STW. This means that a number of smaller existing works (Waterbeach, Horningsea) can be closed, and a new tunnel built under the river between Bottisham lock and Clayhythe.

 

PS The subject of this thread is somewhat misleading, IMHO.


PPS here are some photos of Jesus Lock, currently with no gates ...  https://scholargypsy.org.uk/2023/10/26/jesus-lock-cambridge/

 

Untitled.jpg.60391d4395b16eee2b0857c472a5186c.jpg

Edited by Scholar Gypsy
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58 minutes ago, Paul C said:

 

But there's a framework for decisions to be made upon, and two sides to every story. For example, in a general sense, while you say "rights are being chipped away", others might say "no good reason except tradition and obstinance prevents worthwhile developments or change".

Clearly you haven't engaged with due process in these matters.

 

There is a framework but every decision that "pushes the envelope" is sold as being a one-off, when in practice it actually extends the envelope and invites the next developer or utility company to push it again. Like socks or a pullover, once stretched it doesn't go back to where it was.

 

35 years of working with our planning system have taught me that, and the tendency to push limits rather than accept them has been a particularly feature of at least the last 15. 

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1 minute ago, magpie patrick said:

Clearly you haven't engaged with due process in these matters.

 

There is a framework but every decision that "pushes the envelope" is sold as being a one-off, when in practice it actually extends the envelope and invites the next developer or utility company to push it again. Like socks or a pullover, once stretched it doesn't go back to where it was.

 

35 years of working with our planning system have taught me that, and the tendency to push limits rather than accept them has been a particularly feature of at least the last 15. 

The envelope is pushed and pulled both ways, long term.

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1 hour ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

I hope I can offer some reassurance here, as I am a Cam Conservator. We have been discussing this a lot for quite some time (and certainly since I joined in January 2023), to understand the nature of the structure, and the impact on navigation a) during construction and b) when built; and what that means for the powers AW are seeking.

We have submitted lots of questions to Anglian Water, and as you can see from this article the Planning Inspector has just held the initial scoping meeting at the start of the process of approving the works. The Environment Agency will of course have a major interest - we are just the navigation authority.

 

 

PS The subject of this thread is somewhat misleading, IMHO.

 

 

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Thankyou for your input Simon, the thread was opened for discussion on the facts that I had to hand. It was not misleading, AW ARE seeking to curtail navigation rights over a section of the river, your input shows that questions are being asked, and hopefully, this will result in no rights being removed. 

The outfall existing on the other side does not need any navigation restrictions, so neither should this new development. 

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5 hours ago, Paul C said:

The envelope is pushed and pulled both ways, long term.

I've never had an envelope (in this context) "pulled" - As Chair of our Town Council's Planning Committee (we don't make decisions, we offer suggestions to the Unitary Authority who then ignore us...) it would be wonderful to have a developer who said  "You know what, I don't think the regulations are tough enough. We'll comply with the rules, and then some, and trust you will then hold this as a precedent for other greedy B**** to achieve the same high standard"

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1 hour ago, ditchcrawler said:

I do wonder if its simply a case of someone making a cockup and forgot to put the word Temporary in there. Close off have the river while its being built.

more likely arrogance and contempt for others on behalf of the water companies who have been content to sting us for above inflation price rises for 20 years on the basis they were fixing victorian infrastructure/stopping leaks/cleaning our rivers and now tell us they just need a few £billion more to do that as they haven't actually done it...   oh and they are terribly sorry about all the raw sewage they dumped (and even more sorry they've been found out for lying about it...)  

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On 27/10/2023 at 09:49, Scholar Gypsy said:

 

PS The subject of this thread is somewhat misleading, IMHO.

 

 

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It seems one of your fellow Conservators doesnt think that the title of this thread is misleading...

 

Helen Cleary, of Conservators of the River Cam, said that the proposal to remove navigation rights on part of the river around the sewage outfall was “of significant concern to us”.

She said: “Our biggest concern is navigational rights, and protecting the navigation users and our enforcement rights. So in terms of this, being accurate with wording around permanent extinguishment of our powers, and rights to navigate in this area, it would be extremely important for us to understand it and be able to engage legally on it, because it’s our statutory responsibility to maintain that navigation as well as the impact on its environment.”

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1 hour ago, matty40s said:

It seems one of your fellow Conservators doesn't think that the title of this thread is misleading...

 

Helen Cleary, of Conservators of the River Cam, said that the proposal to remove navigation rights on part of the river around the sewage outfall was “of significant concern to us”.

She said: “Our biggest concern is navigational rights, and protecting the navigation users and our enforcement rights. So in terms of this, being accurate with wording around permanent extinguishment of our powers, and rights to navigate in this area, it would be extremely important for us to understand it and be able to engage legally on it, because it’s our statutory responsibility to maintain that navigation as well as the impact on its environment.”


Helen is of course, as Chief Executive, representing the views of the Conservators (who employ her).  I do think this subject has got somewhat garbled in the press coverage. There is no intention on the part of AW to "stop navigation on the Cam".  But (as I said earlier) there is more to do to understand the precise impact (if any) on navigation of the proposed works, during construction and then permanently, and to ensure that the legal powers granted to AW are no more than are necessary.  

The other point I should add is that there are of course lots of other impacts of the project, for example on water quality and other environmental aspects, but these are primarily a matter for other agencies rather than the Conservancy.

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  • 2 months later...

As an update, this statement was published earlier this month on the Cam Conservators' website. I also attended the meeting with Anglian Water last week, which was very helpful. The task now  is to ensure that all the legal documentation matches what we have agreed. Sounds simple, but it really isn't.

"The Conservancy is engaged in positive discussions with Anglian Water around this project. It is considering the potential impacts during :

 

  • The construction phase, which will involve some temporary restrictions to the navigation.

  • The operation of the outlet, it is anticipated that the impact will be minimal.

  • Any necessary maintenance works.

 

The Conservancy is also working to ensure that any powers granted to Anglian Water in the fulfilment of this project are no more than are necessary."

 

Pages 7-9 of this (large) document give a rather clearer view of the outfall, which is the main structure we are concerned about. There are also three tunnels, at depths between 4 and 20 metres below the river bed, which will be driven under the river.

https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/WW010003/WW010003-000552-4.13 Design Plans - Outfall.pdf

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On 26/10/2023 at 21:57, ditchcrawler said:

If they want less raw sewage discharges they are going to have to accept more sewage works, unless we all move over to composting loos

 

Surely it isn't beyond the abilities of a designer to not reduce the river.  With a new treatment plant, they will have no reason to pump sewage into the river as they will have built for extreme conditions.  Won't they?

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On 26/10/2023 at 21:57, ditchcrawler said:

If they want less raw sewage discharges they are going to have to accept more sewage works, unless we all move over to composting loos

 

 

I often think this too.

 

I definitely want less sewage in our rivers and fewer treatment works. In the same way as I want lower taxes and more spending on all public services. 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Jerra said:
On 26/10/2023 at 21:57, ditchcrawler said:

 

Surely it isn't beyond the abilities of a designer to not reduce the river.  With a new treatment plant, they will have no reason to pump sewage into the river as they will have built for extreme conditions.  Won't they?

There should ot be any untreated output, but the treated sewage still needs somewhere to go.

N

Edited by BEngo
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14 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

I often think this too.

 

I definitely want less sewage in our rivers and fewer treatment works. In the same way as I want lower taxes and more spending on all public services. 

 

 

The main problem is Mike, the water companies are taking out billions of pounds in shareholder and directors bonuses and are not only investing nothing in improvements, but they are expecting the taxpayers to pay for those in increased bills whilst still increasing dividends,  and debts taken against the assets.

Ofwat, the regulator, is in the pockets of the water companies, (79% of water company directors were part of OFWAT before being directors).

The self regulated outflow monitoring is a joke, most are hiding the figures, changing red to blue or green on the maps to hide the danger....the rest are shocking. 

I know Simon(Scholar Gipsy) has the best intentions, but this has gone beyond nice communications and agreeing things. 

For a start, why has the storm drain output got the same output capability as the final outlet when the sewage farm is not on the main Cambridge storm drain system any more.

A question that MUST be asked.

 

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