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Campaigners use crowdfunding to challenge permission for cruise ship terminal

Campaigners are using crowdfunding in a bid to challenge a London borough’s grant of planning permission for an international cruise liner terminal on the River Thames.

A local resident is seeking a judicial review of Greenwich Council’s decision in December 2015 to approve the project.

The grounds of challenge are that there was inadequate assessment of the air pollution arising from the ships and associated development.

“Local residents have consistently called for clean onshore power supply to be provided to avoid dangerous emissions from ship’s diesel engines in a dense residential neighbourhood,” the claimant’s fundraising page on the Crowd Justice site says.

The Greenwich Society and the East Greenwich Residents Association (EGRA) have backed the legal action.

The campaigners have already reached their initial target of raising £6,000 through the Crowd Justice site and have now set a ‘stretch target’ of £16,000.

Dr Paul Stookes of law firm Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law Solicitors, who is advising on the challenge, said: “The challenge to the planning decision is being defended by Greenwich Council and the developers and therefore the opportunity of an early resolution of the matter has gone. The High Court will now proceed to a permission stage, and, if granted set a timetable for a final hearing."

EGRA Chair Dan Hayes added: "We believe that the planning decision is short-sighted and ruinous to Londoners’ health. Nearly 10,000 people die of air pollution in our capital each year and far more suffer ill-health because of bad air.

“We have been constantly exhorted to use public transport, buy cleaner cars or cycle, only to have dirty developments thrust on our communities. It’s time to call a halt on decision-making that makes air pollution much worse for Londoners, and the Cruise Terminal proposal, without on shore power, is a striking example of this.”

A Royal Borough of Greenwich spokesperson said: “We believe that our decision making process was correct and will robustly defend it. However, as proceedings have now been issued, it is not appropriate to comment further.”

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