Concerns have been raised that the proposed sewage work on the edge of Cambridge could cause “nightmare” traffic.

People living in the area said traffic already backed up on junction 34 off the A14 and shared concerns about the impact vehicles travelling to and from the facility could have on this.

However, Anglian Water, which is leading the project to build the new waste water treatment plant, said its assessment showed there would not be a significant impact on traffic in the area.

Anglian Water has submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) application to request permission to build a new sewage works on land north of the A14 between Fen Ditton and Horningsea, known as Honey Hill.

If approved, the new facility will replace the existing sewage works in the north of Cambridge.

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The project has come forward to free up the land the existing plant sits on to be redeveloped into around 8,000 homes as part of the North East Cambridge development.

In March 2019, £227million of funding was allocated to Anglian Water and Cambridge City Council from the government’s Housing Infrastructure Funding pot to relocate the sewage works, so that the new homes could be built.

The proposals for the new Cambridge waste water treatment plant are currently being examined by the planning inspectorate.

At a hearing this week (April 10), concerns were shared about the impact the traffic travelling to the new sewage works site could have on congestion.

Elizabeth Cotton, who lives in the area, said she feared the increase in traffic was “going to be a nightmare”.

She told the examining planners that the area already saw a lot of congestion.

Ms Cotton said: “I will relay an event to you that happened this morning to a local resident trying to get to the school at Marleigh.

“The traffic just today, which was a pretty standard day, but because of roadworks outside Fen Ditton primary school it was so backed up, she had to try and access Marleigh via the A14, which added an extra 30 minutes to her journey.

“These are daily occurrences that are happening at the moment, just imagine what will happen when this all takes place.”

Charles Jones, chairman of Fen Ditton Parish Council, said he shared these concerns and said junction 34 off the A14 onto Horningsea Road was “quite often clogged up”.

However, representatives of Anglian Water told the hearing that their latest assessment of the traffic impact showed there would not be a significant impact on the junction, or Horningsea Road.

Paul Burley, one of the planning examiners, said he recognised the concern from people in the area about the perceived difference between what they are experiencing on the roads and what is presented in the traffic modelling.

He asked the Anglian Water representatives whether any mitigation measures were proposed for the traffic impact, despite the company concluding there would not be a significant impact.

John Webber, representing Anglian Water, said: “Our assessment concluded there will be no residual effects on traffic and transport and junction 34 can operate in capacity during operation.

“In that context potential time restrictions on movement in the traffic plan are no longer needed, however the applicant is mindful it has made that commitment already in those documents and it is a commitment it is willing to honour, even though it considers it is not necessary.”

Mr Burley asked the representatives from National Highways and the highways department at Cambridgeshire County Council if they were happy with the modelling assessment undertaken, which they said they were.

Jez Tuttle, from the county council, said he knew junction 34 well and recognised there has recently been queuing along the slip road.

He said: “I do know recently local road works have affected that junction and that has increased queuing back in that road.

“It is important to note what modelling is, a model is of a typical day, that does not mean that day will occur everyday as there could be events and diversions that cause different traffic patterns on a daily or weekly basis.

“[The modelling] looks at a typical pattern across 12 months, the modelling is not exact since sometimes it cannot consider variation, because we do not know what happens day to day.

“We are confident the modelling does model a typical day, while there might be days that are slightly less or more congested, it does represent a true average day over the year.”

The examination process of the plans is due to close next week on April 17. After this the examining planners will be expected to make a recommendation as to whether the project should go ahead or not.