Resident Wins High Court Permission for Judicial Review


At a five-hour hearing before Mr Justice Dove on 19 April, permission was granted for a full judicial review of the planning decision covering the development of Enderby Wharf (North) including the contentious planned cruise liner terminal.

The grounds of for the review are the nature of the air quality assessments undertaken during the planning process and presented to the Planning Board of Greenwich Council last summer. Miss Jenny Wigley, on behalf of the Claimant, argued that the environmental assessment did not take into account the cumulative impact of all air emissions from the development. That includes the diesel pollution from a “hotelling” cruise ship, estimated to be similar to that from 688 idling lorries according to the Mayor of London’s own consultants, and all other vehicle and non-vehicle emissions.

Local residents, led by the East Greenwich Residents Association, and joined by many other civic societies from both banks of the river, have consistently argued for on-shore power supply to cut the impact of dirty diesel emissions.

Says Dan Hayes, Chairman of EGRA:

“This is a great day for all those campaigning for a clean cruise liner terminal. The Royal Borough of Greenwich has let its residents down badly in its refusal to listen to reasonable requests for pollution mitigation. The Court’s decision provides the hope that Londoners will be protected from polluting effects of this poorly executed scheme. Royal Borough Greenwich will at last be held to account”.

The Court found that it is arguable that the Council had not conducted the environmental assessment correctly. That argument will now move to a full hearing at in the High Court this summer within the next two-three months.

Dr Paul Stookes, solicitor-advocate at Richard Buxton Solicitors acting for the claimant

explains:

“The case is recognised to be of significance and it will be before the High Court as a matter of urgency. It is now clear that air pollution is responsible for around 10,000 deaths in London alone, year on year. It is absolutely critical that decision-makers such as Greenwich Council adhere to their duty not to make matters worse, and indeed try and reduce the poor air quality that many across London and the UK now face. To put things into perspective in the 15 years that the Royal Borough of Greenwich has been designated an Air Quality Management Area in which critical air pollution levels are regularly exceeded, over 150,000 Londoners have died due to poor air quality. It is unacceptable that decision-makers, including Councils, the London Assembly and the UK Government are not taking the matter more seriously and bringing air pollution levels down.”

To support the case, a crowdfunding website has been opened at CrowdJustice. With much support from individuals and local associations, including the Greenwich Society, this is nearing its target of £16,000.

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