Cruiseliner Enderby Wharf terminal pollution fears raised in parliament

An artist's impression of the new port. Photograph: London City Cruise Port
An artist’s impression of the new port. Photograph: London City Cruise Port

Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick has raised the issue of a controversial planned Enderby Wharf cruiseliner terminal in a debate in the House of Commons.

London City Cruise Port is set to be built opposite the Isle of Dogs, but residents and politicians on both banks of the Thames say fumes from vessels left “idling” there will worsen already poor air quality.

At the Westminster Hall debate last week (7 September), the Labour MP said: “If you’re living on top of the new cruise terminal this will be a significant contributor to poor air quality for you, your community, for East London and for London generally.”

Fitzpatrick said that the proposed plan “defies logic and common sense”.

Matthew Pennycook, MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, was also present at the debate.

He said his constituents understood the potential benefits of such a development in terms of tourism and jobs.

But he added: “What they will not accept – and are right not to – is that those benefits must come at the expense of local community and local air quality. Air quality is not a frivolous concern…it is an invisible hazard.”

He said he was not convinced that alternatives, such as ship-to-shore power, had been sufficiently investigated.

Pennycock suggested that, though they were more expensive in the short-term, the alternatives might save money in the long run, especially the costs of having to retrofit the terminal with shore connection years down the line.

Gavin Barwell, Minister of State for Housing and Planning, said that while an investigation of the potential air pollution had taken place the cumulative effects might not have been effectively considered and that alternatives such as ship-to-shore power might yet be investigated.

“The government takes air pollution very seriously, and is committed to reducing the health impacts and fulfilling our legal obligations,” he said.

He added that he would be happy to meet with Fitzpatrick and Pennycock to discuss matters further, saying he would look into the case with his colleagues.

London City Cruise Port declined to comment.

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