by our Staff Writer | Greenwich
The Royal Borough of Greenwich's Planning Board has resolved to grant planning permission for a development that will see London's first passenger cruise terminal built in the borough.
|The Passenger Cruise Terminal, Port of New Orleans, USA.|
(Credit: via Wiki).
Consent for the development was originally granted in 2012, after which the developer came forward with improvements to the originally consented scheme. There was a considerable debate about the revised application last night's meeting and all opinion and evidence around the scheme was fully listened to and considered. The permission is now subject to referral to the Mayor of London and the signing of a legal agreement in respect of the planning obligations.
“I’d like to thank all those members of the public who came along to meeting to raise a host of important issues and make thoughtful contributions. I have the utmost respect for the views of everyone who attended,” said Cllr Denise Hyland, Leader of Royal Greenwich, “This application was a revision on the 2012 proposal and we had asked to see improvements. I believe that we have now agreed a development which is better for local residents. 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.
“There is also a much larger public area with a viewing platform and café which will provide quality open space overlooking the river and funding for an improved river boat service.”
Tourism is a major growth area for Royal Greenwich, worth £1.1 billion to the local economy each year and supporting 16,000 jobs. The development is expected to provide a major boost to the sector. “This will be a landmark development bringing London's first passenger cruise terminal to Royal Greenwich,” said Cllr Miranda Williams, Cabinet Member for Culture and Creative Industries, “It will provide a huge boost for tourism industry. We are already working with cruise operators to ensure that local businesses benefit from the increase in visitor numbers and I know how much our local attractions are looking forward to the increase in visitor numbers.”
The development is also expected to revive and regenerate the Greenwich waterfront as has been the case in other cities where cruse terminals have been introduced. “I would expect this development to open up this whole area of Greenwich – both on the land and in terms of river use. This cruise terminal is not a commercial terminal, but is purpose built for passengers - allowing easy onward transport to the rest of the borough and beyond from the Peninsula. That, combined with the improved river boat service, will provide benefits to the whole borough and make the area much more attractive in terms of inward investment,” said Cllr Danny Thorpe, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport.
|Passenger Cruise Terminal, Amsterdam Netherlands.(Credit: via Wiki).|
The scheme also includes residential development. “This will deliver much-needed new housing for the borough,” said Cllr Chris Kirby, Cabinet Member for Housing and HR, “The shortage of housing is one of the most important issues facing London and it’s great that we will see 384 additional units being provided. This revised development will now provide a total of 1154 new homes.”
“It's a real positive that we're seeing confidence and investment like this in the borough which will also create hundreds of new jobs for local people, Said Cllr Sizwe James, Cabinet Member for Business Employment and Skills, “The cruise industry is changing and the nature of jobs should see opportunities across the skills spectrum. We also know that the knock on effect in terms of jobs can be significant, not only in terms of tourism but also the influx of cruise staff using local businesses whilst on shore.”
The very important issue of air quality was discussed at great length at last night's meeting and formed an important part of the discussion and deliberations
The impact on air quality of any new development will be fully monitored and the approval of two applications last night resulted in nearly half a million pounds being committed towards monitoring and improving air quality.
“We want to provide every assurance that we are committed to improving air quality in the borough. Alongside this is a clear strategy to keep regenerating the borough, growing the local economy, building new homes and creating new jobs for residents. Developments like this will help achieve this aim - which ultimately benefits local people," said Cllr Hyland.