A plan to build a cruise terminal at Greenwich, London, has been given local authority planning approval.
The facility will be built at Enderby Wharf on the Greenwich peninsula and called London City Cruise Port. It will be able to accommodate vessels up to 240 m long with 8 m draught when completed in 2017.
Close to the historic Cutty Sark and Old Royal Naval College, it is expected to handle up to 60 cruise ships a year bringing 40,000 tourists, and to create nearly 500 jobs.
“We very much want to see it happen, we’re big fans of the project,” Port of London Authority official Martin Garside told IHS Maritime.
“We’ve wanted to see such a facility for a long time and have supported the developers throughout the planning stages,” he continued. “It will give the Thames three cruise terminals: London International Cruise Terminal at Tilbury, operated by Forth Ports; a second just upriver of Tower Bridge for smaller cruise vessels; and now this.
“Of course, there is already a cruise facility at Greenwich Ship Pier, but passengers have to be tendered from ships, which is not the case with the new terminal.”
The London City Cruise Port plan received a unanimous vote of approval from Greenwich Planning Board. It will be developed by West Properties with marine consultantcy Beckett Rankine. Ian Simpson Architects and cruise specialists G P Wild are also on the design team.
Permission for a cruise terminal on the site was originally granted in 2012, but a revised application was made to cover additional turnaround facilities, two residential towers and other amendments.
The overall plan that has now been approved by the borough of Greenwich, and which includes up to 477 new homes, still needs a green light from London’s mayor, Boris Johnson.
It is not without controversy, however. Concerns have been raised by neighbouring council Tower Hamlets and by residents’ associations over noise, disturbance and air pollution.
Concerning the latter, objectors have demanded shore-based power for visiting cruise liners instead of the use of onboard diesel generators. They point out that generators on medium-sized cruise ships consume about 700 litres of diesel per hour – equivalent to 400 idling lorries.
Greenwich Council, however, said an environmental statement (ES) had been submitted with the planning application and, “It is considered that the proposed development is acceptable in environmental terms, subject to mitigation measures identified within the ES.”
Greenwich Council leader Denise Hyland said: “The new scheme has much better arrangements for the passenger terminal. It is now completely self-contained, improving transport arrangements and reducing noise in the local area.”
Speaking to IHS Maritime, a representative of London City Cruise Port declined to give an estimated cost for the project and had no knowledge of whether a shore power installation was planned. She stated simply, “We welcome the resolution of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Planning Board to approve the Enderby Place planning application, which will allow us to drive forward our target programme for the development. We will communicate further information in due course.”
The new terminal will have air draught restrictions: the QE2 bridge at Dartford is 54.1 m above MHWS (60.7 m above chart datum) and the City of London cable car is 60.4 m above MHWS (67.6 m above chart datum).
This is in contrast to Tilbury, which has no air draught restrictions and offers 10 m alongside depth. But Tilbury is 22 nm down-river from central London.