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To: Emma Fitch (Bus Mgr Planning and Minerals and Waste Team, Cambridge County Council)



The visually colossal ugly industrial waste incinerator proposed for the fen edge villages of Cambridge was this week stopped by county councillors.

The application was refused 7 votes to 1 on grounds of landscape and heritage.

Nearly 400 objections (against 3 supporting statements) were received by CCC, while a petition opposing the plans was signed by almost 3000 people and numerous people gave their day to airing their objections to the committee at what was an all day complex hearing meeting.

Concerns included the impact on future and existing residents, landscape and impact on a crown jewel of fenland, the ancient heritage asset of Denny Abbey owned by English Heritage which sits next door to the proposed site, and Ely Cathedral (both Crown Jewels of the fens), highway capacity and road safety, noise, air quality, pollution and human health, the environment and whether the facility was needed in a country classified by global waste expert authority EUNOMIA and the EU as being at incineration saturation.

We are delighted our voices and residents voices have been heard and we are grateful to the long standing hard work and suport provided by local parish councils who povideded strong objections, Conservative MPs Lucy Frazer and Heidi Allen who kept lsitening to us and formally objected several times, and to Waterbeach Labour, the Green party, CPRE, English Heritage, Cambridge Friends of the Earth who all backed us from the get-go and were relentless with their help. There was 11th hour support and objection from Lib Dem County councillor too. Not withstanding the champion fund raising by Jasmine Seamarks and public donations without we would not have been able to commission the key landscape report that was instrumental in today. Thanks also go out to campaign groups members in Bedford (CAIN), Horsham (NoIFH), Essex (PAIN), Norfolk (KLWIN) and expertise and sheer professional support from campaign group UKWIN (who we should say are working hard with central government to support innovative zero waste strategies).

Thank you to all the councillors who voted today to refuse the application and listened to objectors.

This was an outdated and inappropriate lump of technology for our city that prides itself on trailblazing innovation, and in the wrong place, squeezed next to an ancient heritage asset and potential new primary schools and new settlement.

We are under no illusion that AMEY CESPA could appeal, such is the value of burning 12 counties waste on our door step to them and their share holders. But the decision today is a win for democracy and there were several moments along the way when we questioned whether democracy even existed.

If they do then here’s a heads up- we’ll need even more hands on deck and support.

Our communities were at a huge disadvantage when opposing such a technically complicated application and in the future access to knowledge and information and understanding the process needs to improve. Combined public information events and public debate meetings should be the preferred forum and less feared- they work well for communities who seek to understand and voice their thoughts.

Goes to show if you care it counts!


Fellow concerned residents of

I/we the undersigned call on Cambridgeshire County Council, South Cambs District Council and The Environment Agency to reject Amey Cespa's plans to build a huge new waste incinerator on the northern fringe of Cambridge.

Reject the planning application from Amey Cespa for a waste incinerator in Cambridge. Waste minimisation, recycling and composting through innovation and behavioural change are the answer not incineration and certainly not in urban areas.

Why is this important?

If everyone who saw this, signed and shared it would achieve its objective within the hour!


Unborn babies, infants and children are most at risk from incinerator emissions research has proven. Waste incinerators are associated with direct causal links to all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality and mortality from lung cancer, higher rates of adult and childhood cancer, birth defects, increased respiratory hospital admissions, a range of emotional and behavioural problems in children, learning difficulties, and delinquency, cell level genetic changes which pose a risk to future generations , and in problems in adults including violence, dementia, depression and Parkinson’s disease, after adjustment for other factors.

These findings come from a wide variety of peer reviewed research, meta-analysis and reports conducted by The World Health Organisation (WHO), British Heart Foundation, British Lung Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, The British Society for Ecological Medicine, DEFRA, Asthma UK, Client Earth.

All conclude that incinerators should NOT be approved.

This directly affects your health and that of your family and friends. Don’t say you weren’t warned! YOUR VOICE MATTERS and IT DOES COUNT.

If approved against all advice from world leading environment, climate change and health advisory bodies, Cambridge air pollution WILL increase, forever, with significant and predictable life threatening and life changing health consequences for many, particularly affecting the most vulnerable youngest members of society.

Amey Cespa proposes a £200M waste incinerator in Cambridge that will burn 250,000 tonnes commercial and household waste /yr, from 5 counties incl. Isle of Wight (selling surplus to China), fed at this rate minimum to justify investment. AC already provides facilities for waste recycling, composting, landfill and mechanical biological treatment.

Yes, it proposes energy for 45,000 homes and 300 jobs during construction and operations but does that justify proven and predictable health effects above? Read them again – all-cause mortality, cancer, mental health, adverse effects in unborn babies, infants and children who by nature are in a biological window of vulnerability.

AC submitted their application 20th Dec for a 21 day public consultation, just before the busiest holiday period of the year. They have followed min. statutory requirements to notify the public. For such a major infrastructure application that presents enormous city wide public health and environmental impact, providing 2 short notice site public information meetings (advertised briefly in neighbouring villages) and 2 recent short notice neighbouring parish council meetings, it does appear like AC would rather prefer the application flew very much under the public radar.

The UK and Cambridge has a problem with waste management but if incineration is the answer, somebody asked the wrong question.
Waste incineration in Cambridge will produce an unprecedented health risk for people living in and around the city, air pollution WILL increase and forever with significant and predictable health consequences.

AC cannot guarantee that waste incineration is safe for public health. Toxin emissions and particulate pollution have to go somewhere. EC reports advise reducing NOT increasing air pollution to reduce and prevent land, coast and sea ecosystem damage due to acidification, thus also protecting water, food chains and organic farmers.

There is already local evidence of significant health impacts from the AC Cambridge waste management site. 2016- AC was fined by Cambridge magistrates £50,000 for causing sickness and adverse effects on human health, and prior to these incidents, received 3 enforcement notices 2015 by the Environment Agency. ‘AC fined £50,000’ by F Snoad, Cambridge Evening News, Sep 2016.

The environment agency continues to receive regular calls reporting problems with air quality relating to this site. Local newspapers have reported ongoing problems with local residents and workers complaining of feeling sick, gagging, wheezing, sore eyes and throats, constant unpleasant smells causing them to have to keep windows shut. ‘The waste park is poisoning us: Cambridgeshire villagers concern at Amey recycling centre’ by Samar Maguire, Cambridge Evening News, Sep 2017.

It is enshrined in EC and UK legislation that reducing emissions produces true health benefits, prevents unnecessary burden on healthcare, and protects against the impacts of acid air and water on local and wide ranging ecosystems including land, coast and sea. Costs of incineration, together with research investigating nonstandard emissions from incinerators, has demonstrated that the hazards of incineration are greater than previously realised including that relating to fine and ultrafine particulates. Operating waste incinerators in urban areas results in dangerous health and environmental consequences from both construction and operation. The accumulated evidence on the health risks of incinerators is simply too strong to ignore and their use in Cambridge cannot be justified now that better, cheaper and far less hazardous methods of waste disposal have become available.

The planned chimney stack height is out of keeping with surrounding local village architecture and the Fenland landscape: contravening NPPF guidelines.

The proposed site is greenfield which will potentially be adjacent to major new residential areas.

Waste minimisation, recycling and composting through innovation and behavioural change are the answer not incineration and certainly not in urban areas.

Residents of Cambridge have human right to clean air and their health protected.

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL



2018-09-24 12:04:06 +0100

Petition is successful with 2,486 signatures

2018-01-30 19:19:57 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2018-01-26 21:00:45 +0000

Apologies to anyone trying to see the evidence link, the URL hasn't been working but here you go:

2018-01-20 14:38:16 +0000

500 signatures reached

2018-01-11 00:03:26 +0000

100 signatures reached

2018-01-10 19:01:05 +0000

50 signatures reached

2018-01-10 16:55:24 +0000

25 signatures reached

2018-01-10 14:01:44 +0000

10 signatures reached

2018-01-10 13:14:01 +0000

Want to know the evidence behind the petition: file:///D:/Personal/Personal/Barracks/Incinerator%20Amey%20Cespa/Evidence/The%20evidence%20doc%20on%20petition/The%20Evidence%20Reasons%20Why%20Incineration%20of%20Waste%20at%20Amey%20Cespa%20Waterbeach%20Will%20Threaten%20Health.pdf

2018-01-10 13:13:08 +0000

Additional info:
Expected 500 movements of HGVs per day which will add to congestion on busy A10 and through neighbouring villages and rat runs, creating further NOx, particulates and dust.