Judicial Review to Clean up Dirty Cruise Liner Terminal in London

By Ian Blore

Judicial Review to Clean up Dirty Cruise Liner Terminal in London

By Ian Blore

Dirty ships pollute our air; onshore power is the future for all cruise ports

Funded
on 09th March 2016
£16,000
pledged by 226 people

Dirty ships pollute our air; onshore power is the future for all cruise ports

Our Appeal is Blocked in the Courts

Feb. 22, 2017

Courts Block London Cruise Port Judicial Review

Permission has been refused today (22/2/2017) by Lord Justice Henderson for an appeal against the High Court decision of 8 August 2016.  He found that Greenwich Council had not made any error in law in granting permission for a turnaround cruise port at Enderby Wharf.  That permission would allow a potentially highly polluting cruise line...

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The Judge deciding the substantive judicial review of the cruise port planning permission has dismissed the claim that it is unlawful. Those of us who have been campaigning for a clean cruise port, using twenty-first century shore side power and not ships' diesel engines whilst the ships are berthed, will continue to argue for this solution.

Please read the full Judgement here: HC Judgement.pdf

Air pollution on the River Thames

Greenwich Council has approved plans for a cruise liner terminal on the River Thames that will cause increased air pollution. The simple way forward is to provide clean onshore power to the cruise ships.  Help clean up the river, London and other cruise ports.


                                     

Case Background

A local resident of East Greenwich has challenged Greenwich Council’s decision of December 2015 in granting permission for an international cruise liner terminal on the Thames.  The grounds are that there has been inadequate assessment of the air pollution that will arise from ships and associated development.  Local residents have consistently called for clean onshore power supply to be provided to avoid dangerous emissions from ship’s diesel engines in a dense residential neighbourhood.

“Hotelling” cruise ships that run their auxiliary engines burn at least 700 litres of diesel an hour; the equivalent of 688 permanently running HGVs.  Cruise ships are planned to dock for the six summer months, when pollution in London is at its worst, and dirty diesel emissions will affect large populations on both banks of the river.  Ships auxiliary engines run on dirtier diesel than lorries. Also unlike lorries these ships do not treat or filter their emissions. 


                                                     

Bad Air in London

Disquiet about air pollution is widespread and increasing. At a national level Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, expressed concern to a Government Select Committee that air pollution from the terminal would affect the whole of London. We also understand that mitigation measures such as onshore power will be obligatory by 2025 and asks what is the use of building a cruise port that may be obsolete in 7 years?  Both the Greenwich Society and the East Greenwich Residents Association (EGRA) wholeheartedly support this legal challenge that will hopefully result in a judicial review of the planning decision.  Your financial support is vital to help a brave citizen pursue this case against a planning authority.

Dr Paul Stookes of law firm, Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law Solicitors, has explained that:

the challenge to the planning decision is being defended by Greenwich Council and the developers and therefore the opportunity of an early resolution of the matter has gone.  The High Court will now proceed to a permission stage, and, if granted set a timetable for a final hearing.”

EGRA Chair, Dan Hayes, remarks that:

"We believe that the planning decision is short-sighted and ruinous to Londoners’ health.  Nearly 10,000 people die of air pollution in our capital each year and far more suffer ill-health because of bad air.  We have been constantly exhorted to use public transport, buy cleaner cars or cycle, only to have dirty developments thrust on our communities.  It’s time to call a halt on decision-making that makes air pollution much worse for Londoners, and the Cruise Terminal proposal, without on shore power, is a striking example of this.”

How You Can Help

We need a community contribution to support the proceedings.  We initially ask for £6,000 to begin the case.  A decision is critical to South East and East London, including Greenwich, which is one of the most polluted London boroughs. However, anyone who objects to air pollution should express support to help highlight their concern.  Frankly, local residents and communities are getting increasingly fed up with councils and government failing to properly consider the serious environmental impacts of their decisions.


About the claimant

I am Ian Blore, a member of the East Greenwich Residents Association (EGRA). I have been monitoring air pollution in the locality for over a year as part of a citizen science effort. EGRA was founded in 2013 to, among other things, help promote and improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of residents within the area of East Greenwich. The very poor air quality we have revealed in London can only be made worse by such thoughtless developments. I am helping a local resident to pursue this case in an effort to stop a further increase in pollution from the cruise liners and to convince Greenwich Council that onshore-power and a pollution-free terminal is the only way forward. I hope that you can help too by providing funding for the legal case.

Fast facts

A clean cruise port for London that does not pollute our air, and an example for less pollution from new developments. Application for judicial review of the planning decision has been made; we await whether the case may be heard Dr Paul Stookes, Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law Solicitors acting on behalf of a local resident.

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Our Appeal is Blocked in the Courts

Feb. 22, 2017

Courts Block London Cruise Port Judicial Review

Permission has been refused today (22/2/2017) by Lord Justice Henderson for an appeal against the High Court decision of 8 August 2016.  He found that Greenwich Council had not made any error in law in granting permission for a turnaround cruise port at Enderby Wharf.  That permission would allow a potentially highly polluting cruise liner terminal to be built and operated in the heart of London.  Running ships’ diesel engines may burn on average 700 litres of diesel an hour which can be as polluting as 688 lorries idling all day.  The alternative for which EGRA has consistently argued is to connect berthed ship to a shore-side power supply.  This would provide a clean and green cruise port in London fit for the 21st century.

What this Means and the Future

Refusal of leave to appeal exhausts any path in the British courts to secure a better cruise port for London.  EGRA will continue to make the case for using shore-side power and hopes to meet with the London Mayor’s office on 10 March to explore any ways forward.  The possibility of a petition to the European Parliament is also being explored, especially after the recent warning of the UK over air pollution.  There is now overwhelming evidence that much bad air is the result of burning diesel.  Allowing an additional major source of diesel pollution in a densely populated residential area, where pollution levels already exceed permitted levels, is perverse.  Doubly so since ship’s diesel is even dirtier than that used in lorries.

A Big Thank You and We Must Continue the Arguments

I and EGRA thank wholeheartedly all those who backed our crowdfunding of the legal campaign.  We hope the case has made developers and planners see sense by raising what we consider to be a critical concern of air quality in the UK.  Importantly, the decision by the Court of Appeal does not mean that the pollution from cruise liners is going to go away.  It simply means that as far as the Courts are concerned Greenwich Council acted lawfully in granting permission to a polluting activity.  This does not bode well for planning decisions in future.

We do not consider it too late to fully explore the feasibility of shore-side power supply for ships berthed during the most polluted six months of our summer below the windows of many new blocks of flats.  We owe it to you all to continue to argue the case for a clean cruise port for London – to those who will listen to what we consider to be sense.  At a time when diesel fumes have been identified as a major lethal health hazard it is ridiculous to allow an unmitigated development that relies on burning so much diesel.

We will try to continue to update you even though the case in the British courts is over.  And please spread the news among all your friends.

Sydney MP fights as well

Feb. 5, 2017

Jamie Parker, the MP for Balmain in Sydney, Australia is seeking urgent meetings with relevant Ministers in the New South Wales Assembly to deal with the chronic pollution from cruise ships visiting the city. He says, 'shore to ship power is the only long term solution to the health issues that local residents are facing.'

No wonder, Balmain residents have  to suffer an even higher level of sulphur dioxide emissions than we do  because standards imposed on cruise ships are lower. This of course shows that the cruise industry will only act when it's forced to - another reason to fight for shore power!

Full details and lots more posts on: Stop Cruise Ship Pollution on Facebook - well worth looking at.  

BW Howard Wynne 

Hearing Date Set: 22.2.17

Jan. 31, 2017

The hearing for our application to seek permission to appeal at the High Court is on Wednesday 22nd of February 2017. Please note that we won't know the courtroom or the time until the afternoon before (most hearings start at 10am).

Last week it was announced that Westminster Council are going to charge owners of diesel cars extra money to park their vehicles in it's parking bays. This is in line with the GLA's decision to charge all diesel car owners - other those whose vehicles meet Euro 6 emmisions standard - a daily charge to drive withinthe North and South Circular Roads from 2020, or even 2019. We find it strange that cruise ships burning 700+ litres of marine diesel per hour virtually non stop during the summer months have no penalty imposed for not using shore based power. Another reason to try and stop this scheme as it stands through the High Court. 

Yours Howard Wynne 

Isle of Dogs Resident 

APEAL UPDATE

Jan. 24, 2017

Yesterday we heard, as expected, that the initial request to seek leave to appeal has been turned down which means that we will now proceed to an oral hearing (similar to the judicial review).

The significance of the date of this was announced won't be lost on many following the campaign as it was the day that the first 'Black Air Alert' was announced in London. This indicates that the air pollution was 'very high' beating even the Red Air Alert 'high' issued last week.

It is this kind of news that makes us more determined than ever to continue the fight for clean air in our locality.

Yours,

Howard Wynne 

MPs Again Raise Issue in Parliament

Sept. 11, 2016

MPs Call for Action in Parliamentary Debate

Members of Parliament Jim Fitzpatrick and Matt Pennycook called for serious talks to secure a clean cruise port in Parliament on Wednesday 7 September.  Speaking for the Government, Gavin Barwell conceded that air pollution is a priority issue in London and promised a high-level meeting.

A televised download may be seen of the Westminster Hall Debate. A written Hansard entry is available.

We must all hope that this intervention will resolve the impasse and lead to a 21st century solution for London’s first planned cruise port.

Ian Blore

Judicial Review to Clean up Dirty Cruise Liner Terminal in London

Aug. 31, 2016

The High Court judgment has been appealed against

Permission has been sought to appeal against the High Court decision of 8 August which found for the Council.  The request, to the Court of Appeal, will first be made “on the papers”, that is a written application.  If refused, we understand that an oral permission hearing will be sought.  

Now Parliament Backs Us with Four Days to Go to Reach Our Limit

April 29, 2016

Only 4 days left to support a case which is now backed by a powerful all-party parliamentary committee.

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs issued a report on 27 April which fully backs our case. Read all about it in the Evening Standard.

Now the only serious opposition to installing clean onshore power supply is by the defendant and its interested parties. They continue to press for an outdated and dirty project against all the main mayoral candidates, 2 local MPs and now Parliament.

Help us join the future and please donate now.


Local Civic Society Backs Us

April 22, 2016

The Greenwich Society, with 500 families in its membership, has made a very generous pledge to support the case.  It fully backs the legal challenge to a dubious decision.

Thanks to other local groups who are supporting the full judicial review.  We now have nearly reached our stretch total for the court hearing. This should be heard in the latter half of June and has been designated a "significant case".


Permission for Judicial Review won in the High Court

April 20, 2016

The High Court, on 19 April, granted permission for a full judicial review.

This great decision means that the planning authority, the Royal Borough of Greenwich, arguably made legal errors in their air quality assessment for the cruise liner terminal.  

That argument will now be heard in the High Court.  The date of the hearing has yet to be set but it will be this summer

London Mayoral Candidates Support Us

April 11, 2016

First, Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrat) and Sian Berry (Green Party), and last week Zac Goldsmith (Conservative) and Sadiq Khan (Labour) have all backed our solution to the dirty cruise liner terminal.  

This non-partisan consensus reflects growing public concern about air pollution.  All that is needed is the political will to bring the major stakeholders together and thoroughly assess on-shore power supply.  

Join us in challenging a decision that further pollutes our air.



High Court to hear application on 19 April

March 31, 2016

The High Court will hear the application for judicial review on 19 April.  This public hearing will determine whether the case will be fully heard in the High Court.

We have therefore extended the initial deadline by 31 days to give more people the chance to register concerns for the environment by making a contribution to the cause no matter how small.


Halfway to Our Stretch Goal

March 18, 2016

Thanks to nearly 100 supporters we are over halfway to our stretch goal with over half the initial time left.  Let all your friends know that a donation as small as £10 can make an impact on London's polluted air

Initial Target Success!

March 9, 2016

You have all helped us achieve our initial target of £6,000 within a week. Thank you and spread the word.  We will keep you updated on the main milestones of the legal case by email.  But keep an eye on this page as well.  We already have many supporters; more will demonstrate as much as their donations how seriously we view air pollution.  Please remember that further pledges are automatic donations to the cause - but we think it is a worthy one for all our cities as well as Greenwich, and so do many of you.

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