Pollution campaigners protesting against the proposed London City Cruise Port at Greenwich’s Enderby Wharf have seen their latest, and possibly last, legal attempt to halt the development fail.

A crowd-funded attempt to appeal a High Court ruling which endorsed the application was rejected by Lord Justice Henderson on Wednesday (February 22).

An anonymous claimant, supported by the East Greenwich Residents Association, had taken Greenwich Borough Council to a judicial review in July 2016 for failing to address the cumulative impact on air quality of cruise liners “hotelling” at the new riverside stop.

Campaigners, including Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick, had argued that on-shore power supply would prevent cruise liners having to run their diesel engines 24 hours a day. That was considered by the council and operators to be unusual, expensive and impractical.

When the judge ruled in the judicial review that the council had made no error in law in reaching its decision last year, the campaigners sought permission to appeal, which has now been refused.

An artist's impression of the London City Cruise Terminal planned for Enderby Wharf in Greenwich

A statement on behalf of the EGRA said: “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 March 10 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.”

Protesters were always hampered by the fact that the claimant made no objection to the scheme during the application process. The court would therefore face the prospect of overturning a democratic decision because of an objection by someone who had declined to make a contribution to the debate.

US terminal goes for on-shore power

Meanwhile the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in New York has installed shore power, only the second US Atlantic terminal to do so, with the aim of reducing air pollution. Community groups around the Red Hook neighbour had lobbied hard and won concessions, including public subsidy of the extra costs.