High Court rejects legal bid to block Greenwich cruise ship terminal

A High Court judge has rejected a local resident's attempt to overturn plans for a cruise ship terminal on the Thames at Greenwich.

Enderby's Wharf: site of proposed cruise liner terminal
Enderby's Wharf: site of proposed cruise liner terminal

Planning permission for the terminal at Enderby Wharf has been in place since 2012, but amendments were made last year and triggered a judicial review challenge.

Lawyers representing a local resident with learning difficulties argued that there should have been a full assessment of the terminal's impact on local air quality.

The man lived just 450 metres away from the site and there was concern that liners using the facility would have to leave their diesel engines running to maintain power on board.

Nitrogen dioxide emissions were the chief concern, Mr Justice Collins was told.

However, in a ruling today, the judge said there was nothing unlawful in the Royal Borough of Greenwich's decision to grant planning consent for the amended scheme.

Even had he detected any legal flaw in the decision, the judge said he would have exercised his discretion not to quash the permission.

The 2012 permission allowed construction of a new jetty on the Thames to provide docking for cruise ships, a cruise liner terminal, a 251-bedroom hotel and 770 new homes.

The mayor of London had decided not to call in the application and there was no challenge to the planning permission granted.

However, in March last year, developers - Enderby Wharf Ltd - applied for permission to make major amendments to the plans.

The hotel was to be replaced by further residential buildings, one of which would be increased in size. And the terminal building was to be increased in size by more than 80 per cent.

Mr Justice Collins said the development of a cruise liner terminal for London had, for some time, been "considered desirable" by Greenwich, the Greater London Authority and the Port of London Authority.

The project would provide much-needed housing, attract large numbers of tourists and would boost the local economy.

It had been recognised by planners that the project would have an environmental impact, but that was taken into account.

Despite the increase in the terminal building's size, it was not envisaged that it would cater for more visits by cruise liners.

Whilst it was anticipated in 2012 that 100 liners would visit the facility each year, by 2015 that projected figure had been reduced to 55.

The judge was entirely satisfied that Greenwich was entitled to rely on DEFRA guidance and the reports which it had commissioned in respect of the project's impact on local air quality.

PS v Royal Borough of Greenwich. Case Number: CO/560/2016

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