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Now Greenwich backs Isle of Dogs families and ‘no toxic port’ campaign on Enderby Wharf pollution

PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 18:21 18 July 2018

Cruise liner berthed on the Thames between Isle of Dogs and Greenwich. Picture: Ralph Hardwick

Cruise liner berthed on the Thames between Isle of Dogs and Greenwich. Picture: Ralph Hardwick

Ralph Hardwick

Campaigners have turned a corner in their fight to stop the controversial Enderby Wharf cruise-liner scheme polluting a huge swathe of the Thames and the Isle of Dogs now that Greenwich Council has come on board.

'No Toxic Port' protesters calling for onshore electricity for berthed liners. Picture: Iga Cegielko'No Toxic Port' protesters calling for onshore electricity for berthed liners. Picture: Iga Cegielko

The local authority that originally gave planning permission for the proposed terminal on the Greenwich Peninsula has now called on the developers to “address the impact on pollution and air quality”.

It follows a 7,000-name petition by Isle of Dogs families at Cumberland Mills Square in Cubitt Town that was inspired by the ‘No Toxic Port’ campaign both sides of the Thames.

The petition was handed to the council earlier this month, demanding on-shore electric power supplies to be included when the terminal is built—rather than letting liners run their diesel engines when berthed.

Greenwich council leader Danny Thorpe is now pressing the developers to “turn the scheme green”—but has had no response yet.

Clean air campaign to stop Enderby Wharf polluting the Thames with cruise-liner diesel engines running 24-hours a day. Picture: Iga CegielkoClean air campaign to stop Enderby Wharf polluting the Thames with cruise-liner diesel engines running 24-hours a day. Picture: Iga Cegielko

“We recognise that air quality it is a significant concern,” he said. “I’m publicly calling on the developer to come back to the table with sensible proposals that address community concerns.”

Opposition to the terminal has focused on the decision to not have an onshore power source for ships. That means having to run their diesel engines 24 hours-a-day while moored, with the fumes sweeping across the river.

The pollution would affect the Isle of Dogs with 12 schools within a half mile radius, an issue first raised in Parliament by Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick in 2016 who slammed Greenwich Council for passing the scheme in the first place.

It needed legislation covering shipping at berth, he told the East London Advertiser last month. The problem was no regulation requiring onshore electricity, resulting in a large terminal on the Thames with no emissions control.

Tug boat used to tow cruise-liners into port on the busy Thames. Picture: Ralph HardwickTug boat used to tow cruise-liners into port on the busy Thames. Picture: Ralph Hardwick

Isle of Dogs campaigners this week backed the MP’s call for legislation and have asked for meeting with Shipping Minister Nusrat Ghani, pointing out that Enderby Wharf is inside the Inner London Low Emissions zone. One cruise liner produces the same emissions as 688 heavy goods vehicles, GLA figures show.

The new site owners, Morgan Stanley investment conglomerate ironically based on the Isle of Dogs at Canary Wharf, is looking again at the original plans for the terminal scheme.

A spokesman told the Advertiser today: “We’re working on fresh proposals for Enderby Wharf and look forward to discuss these with the council in the near future.”

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs waded into the controversy in a letter to Greenwich Council last month, stressing that Enderby Wharf was “a strategic challenge for London as a whole” and particularly the Isle of Dogs if it goes ahead.

Campaigners were not against a cruise-ship terminal bringing tourists to London and business to the area—but it needed to be environmentally safe.

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