The judicial review into the approval of the cruise liner terminal at Enderby Wharf has begun, with Greenwich Council accused of failing to properly assess the impact on air quality.
Campaigners and residents packed out the public gallery to witness proceedings on Tuesday, July 12, having persuaded the High Court to hold the judicial review in April .
Jenny Wigley, representing the claimant, said Greenwich Council’s planning board had not taken into account the cumulative impact of all air emissions when it approved the development in July 2015.
She said: “There was a failure to require or to take into account the need for an assessment of the ships’ emissions alongside the road transport and other emissions caused by the development.
“The cumulative effects of the emissions would result in moderate to substantial increase in impact in terms of air quality.
“This would be a material consideration that the local planning authority would have to take into account.”
Ms Wigley claimed that the council dealt with the pollution caused by the shipping traffic and pollution caused by other means (road traffic) separately.
She argued that if the two pieces of information had been brought together then it would have shown a moderate or substantial impact on air pollution.
It is the claimant's opinion that this could have lead to further mitigating measures or even to the council refusing the application.
It is claimed that the ships moored at the terminal could create the same pollution as 688 idling lorries.
Ms Wigley said: “Had the true significance of impacts on air quality been made clear, the need for a possible way of avoiding these emissions and adverse impacts on health may have been given weightier and more serious consideration.”
But the judicial review only has the power to strike down a planning authority’s decision if Greenwich Council’s process is found to be unlawful.
Mr Justice Collins was critical of the anonymous claimant from the outset, stating that he had not raised these issues when the planning application was discussed by the council.
“That was the key time when the decision was going to be made,” he said.
“The court has long been unhappy over the issue with people making a claim but they have taken no part whatsoever in the planning process.
“I confess I had thought that practice had come to an end. It’s a very unsatisfactory state of affairs particularly as he is not likely to be more than marginally affected.”
It was revealed that the claimant lived between 400 and 500 metres from the site.
The judicial review is set to continue on Wednesday, July 13.
Follow The Wharf on Twitter @the_wharf .
Keep up to date with all our articles on Facebook .