The Project is needed in response to the planned growth of Greater Cambridge and its surrounding region which relies on the redevelopment of the whole WWTP site for a residential development led regeneration of the area known as Cambridge Northern Fringe East (CNFE), along with the Waterbeach New Town Development on the former RAF Waterbeach Station site.

The regeneration of CNFE has long been identified by Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, and is supported by the Cambridge Local Plan 2018 and the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018.

The Project was prioritised by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority for funding from the Housing Infrastructure Fund in September 2017. The bid was submitted by the Combined Authority for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire with support from AWS, local Members of Parliament and other key stakeholders. This bid was successful and HIF funding was awarded for the Project in March 2019. This funding will be used to relocate and construct a new waste water treatment plant, thereby unlocking the regeneration of CNFE.

CNFE includes the existing WWTP on the Cowley Road site and adjacent land owned by the City Council. The redevelopment of the whole of CNFE could potentially deliver more than 8,000 new homes along with 20,000 jobs over the next 20 years. This new housing will be within walking and cycling distance of thousands of jobs at the Cambridge Science Park, and the Cambridge North Railway Station and other public transport.

This housing will play an important role in securing the sustainable and continued success and growth of the nationally important city and region of Cambridge. The relocation of the WWTP is the basis for the transformation of CNFE to support Greater Cambridge’s continued sustainable growth and position Cambridge as a global centre of excellence for research, development and business success. The relocation will release brownfield land for development and reduce pressure for major housing development elsewhere in Greater Cambridge.