London Cruise Port Land Up For Sale and Developer Pulls Out


Morgan Stanley, the fourth biggest investment bank in the world, have put the site for London's City Cruise Port up for sale for around £50 million. The Greenwich Visitor carries a scoop that Barratt London, who were due to deliver the housing, have pulled out of the development. Whilst Barratt London has confirmed termination of their involvement, Morgan Stanley are staying tight lipped fuelling speculation that they may have got cold feet over plans for the beleaguered cruise port. Alternatively, they could be looking for cash to return to their investors.

The Enderby Wharf (North) development, which carries plans for 402 flats and the unpopular cruise port, has been rebranded as Maritime View. JLL's marketing video sweeps over the 1.95 acre site showing three high rise apartment blocks, all in excess of 20 storeys, and a cruise ship docking at the port. What's missing from the slick shots is the new skills centre, pledged as part of the s106 agreement secured by Greenwich Council. Also absent is the trail of fumes from a parked cruise ship idling its engines and burning 700 litres of unfiltered diesel fuel an hour. That's equivalent to emissions from 688 large diesel trucks and would make drinking a glass of wine from the quay side apartment balcony, shown in the video, a serious health hazard.

This news comes at a time when we are redoubling our efforts and re-launching the campaign for a clean and green cruise port for London. We estimate the capital cost of plugging ships into the power network is about £6 million. The figure is based on the developer's own assumptions and represents a small investment to save peoples’ lives and health. It will also prevent the port from becoming a white elephant as under UK law an alternative to burning diesel fuel will have to be found by 2025. Not all ships can plug into an electric supply when they berth. That’s simply up to the industry to rectify, just as car owners once had to fit catalytic converters to their exhausts.

The Government has launched a 25 year environmental strategy which tackles improving air quality and reducing harmful emissions. To that end, we have drawn Michael Gove's attention to the cruise port and asked for urgent discussions (See letter). We have asked him to intervene and transform this polluting project into a clean innovation with electric shore side power as other cities have done in Europe and North America.

We would ask readers of this article to do the same and to make your concerns on the cruise port known to the Secretary of State by tweeting @michaelgove, or emailing our minister on correspondence.section@defra.gsi.gov.uk, or writing to him at Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR. If you haven’t already please sign our petition to Michael Gove here.

We continue to exert public pressure and will be staging public events as part of our campaign. All action will be directed to showing that local people on both sides of the Thames are united against a toxic cruise port. No cruise ship will happily dock in London unless shore side power is installed. The community will see to that.

Please follow our website www.EGRA.London and twitter feed at @EGRA_London for details of our evolving campaign with partners.

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