7,000 sign anti-ship petition against cruise liners docking in South-East London


A petition with more than 7,000 signatures against cruise liners docking in South-east London has been delivered to town hall chiefs.

In a deputation at Woolwich Town Hall on Wednesday of last week, representatives of the No Toxic Cruise Port (NTCP) campaign pleaded with Greenwich councillors to deliver clean onshore power, which they say will reduce pollution as docked ships can plug in and switch off their engines.

At the moment cruise ships are sitting with their engines on for days at a temporary docking station close to the New Capital Quay housing development in Greenwich.

Laura Eyers, NTCP co-founder, said: “Our community has had to live with the prospect of pollution from the cruise terminal hanging over us for the past three years.

We are living in uncertainty and would ask for some clarity.”

Initial plans to develop the cruise ship terminal at Enderby Wharf were approved by Greenwich council in 2011. But residents living close to the site have been campaigning against it.

An unnamed resident lodged a judicial review challenge in 2016 on grounds relating to air quality, which was dismissed.

Ms Eyres, 54, said: “Cruise liner fuel, although classified as low sulphur, is still 100 times dirtier than road fuel.

“With up to 55 cruise visits planned, staying for an average of three days each time, we are looking at ships burning fuel every day of the summer in Greenwich – releasing sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter into our homes and schools.”

According to GLA figures one in five people in Greenwich die prematurely each year as a result of air pollution.

Ms Eyres, who was also representing the East Greenwich Residents Association (EGRA), wants the council to set up an action group made up of town hall chiefs, local groups and experts.

Council leader Danny Thorpe and London Mayor Sadiq Khan had a meeting on June 20, where Enderby Wharf was discussed.

Cllr Thorpe said: “We are in discussions with the developer about the planning.

“It is not just about Enderby Wharf, there are far wider issues about how the river is regulated in terms of omissions.

“One of the things I have been talking to the mayor about is what more can be done in terms of lobbying for greater control over that.

“I expect to be able to bring more information back shortly. We are more than happy to work with everyone to find a way forward.”

The current Enderby Wharf developer, Barratt Homes, has pulled out of the next stage of the project and it is believed that Morgan Stanley is in line to take over the project.

Cllr Thorpe added: “There wouldn’t be much point in setting up a meeting at the moment (with NTCP), but you do have our commitment that when the time is right we will do that.”

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