The judge overseeing the judicial review of the cruise ship terminal at Enderby Wharf has indicated that he’s likely to side with Greenwich Council.
At the end of a two-day hearing into the case, Mr Justice Collins appeared to reject the claimant’s argument that data on the development’s various impacts on air quality should have been considered cumulatively by the council when it approved the plans in July 2015.
An official decision is not expected for a couple of weeks but the judge said he was likely to side with the council.
Addressing Jenny Wigley, representing the claimant, he said: “I’m afraid I’m against the claimant in this case and I am sorry to all those sitting behind you.
“I thought you made a very good point looking at the overall cumulative consideration but I’m afraid to say it probably won’t be going that way.
“Obviously this is a judicial review, it’s not an appeal or a planning committee meeting. I can only reverse the permission if there has been an error of law.
“I appreciate it’s a great disappointment to your claimant but I’m afraid that’s the way I think it will go.”
Ms Wigley had argued all potential sources of increased emissions, including shipping and road traffic, should have been considered together rather than separately.
She said while the impact on air quality was shown to be insignificant when considering sources individually, together they would add up to a more significant blight.
But Paul Tucker QC, representing interested parties Enderby Wharf LLP, Enderby Riverside and Enderby Isle, who are behind the application, said the impact would be so minimal it did not warrant further analysis.
He said: “There is no challenge to the conclusion that the effects of the development itself and the road traffic effects did not give rise to a significant impact on air quality.
“The consequence of the development is always less than 1% and the claimant has only concluded a significant effect by adding the insignificant effect to another figure.
“It’s a cynical attempt to undermine a planning permission that has already been granted.
“The environmental consultants are there to inform the planners and then the planners take it into account and decide what to do with the information.
“They do not have a legal duty to carry out an aggregate assessment.”
A terminal was first given permission in 2012 before it was altered in 2014 and an updated larger scheme was approved in July 2015.
The latter, the subject of the judicial review, would allow for more “turnaround” vessels – ships that would be moored at the terminal for up to a few days.
Campaigners argue cruise liners would continue to churn out pollutants during this time without an onshore power plant, severely affecting the air quality.
But Thomas Hill QC, representing Greenwich Council , said: “There was no real opposition to the development at the time. It was welcomed with open arms.”
A decision on the judicial review, which finished on Wednesday, July 13, is expected in a couple of weeks.
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