Campaigners have reignited a debate over a controversial “toxic port” being installed in the middle of a new neighbourhood.

The ‘No Toxic Cruise Port For London’ group kickstarted their latest round of campaigning on Saturday (March 24), with residents concerned about pollution levels gathering on the banks of the Thames. 

Plans for Enderby Wharf, now called Maritime View and situated in Christchurch Way, have rumbled on for years.

Campaigners fear future developers will not be made to include onshore power supplies for docked ships, which would mean ships would have to use polluting diesel generators for energy.

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Plans were approved by the Greenwich Council 

More than 4,000 people have signed a petition to stop the development, which was agreed in 2015, but the founders say if it is built there must be shore power facilities available.

The campaign is a joint venture by the East Greenwich Residents Association, residents in Tower Hamlets, as well as other concerned neighbours and political activists.

Laura Eyres, one organiser of East Greenwich Resident Group, and co-organiser of this new campaign, said: “This was about sending a clear message to the council, to the mayor and to the developers that this has not been forgotten.

“This is not a just a small group. We have over 4,000 people backing our petition, cross party support, and we believe that people should not be living on top of a chimney pumping out toxic air.”

The group say just one ship emits the same amount of diesel fumes as 688 lorries.

The port has been put up for sale by Morgan Stanley and housing developer Barratt has reportedly withdrawn from the proposals, which included 477 homes, restaurants and shops.

A previous campaign by residents on both sides of the Thames went all the way to the high court, where the scheme was cleared with a judge saying it would boost tourism for Greenwich.

More than 80 people turned out on Saturday morning to launch the fresh round of campaigning near O2’s Intercontinental Hotel.

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The campaign has had cross-party support 

Green candidate for Peninsula ward Dan Garrun has supported the campaign and said: “It’s a shame that residents weren’t listened to in the first place.

“If the councillors who approved the project had taken a moment to actually listen to the more than a hundred objectors who turned out then maybe we would have a clean solution by now. Nevertheless here we are, families, parents, children taking it to the streets.

“Lets make it clear, the air in Greenwich is very polluted, the actual volumes of NO2 and particulate matter are borderline illegal. Add massive cruise liners running off diesel generators to that and we’re looking at a public health catastrophe.”

A spokesman for Greenwich Council said: “We know that a number of local people feel passionately about Enderby Wharf.

“We have always sought to listen to their opinions at all times and will ensure that the conditions and obligations put in place by the planning board are honoured by the developer.”

The petition can be found here. 

Enderby Wharf – A brief timeline:

2012: Planning permission granted for new jetty to dock cruise liners and 770 homes, a gym, a creche and shops

2014: Revised application approved with changes to the residential aspect of the plans

2015: Application for northern element of Enderby Wharf approved including liner terminal terminal building, hundreds of houses, and shops and cafes.

May 2016: Sadiq Khan chimes in to debates calling for “resolution” over pollution fears

August 2016: EGRA campaign over pollution at the port is taken to the High Court, where a judge sides with Greenwich Council and said the Wharf would be good for tourism

September 2016: MPs debate the port in Parliament

August 2017: EU commission investigates the Wharf over fears it could have a “Venice-like” impact.

March 2018: No To Toxic Port campaign surfaces, re-starting the debate