The Council of the Isles of Scilly has reiterated its support for the proposed new heliport in Penzance.
In a submission to Cornwall Council earlier this month, the Authority's Planning Department cited the potential social and economic benefits to the islands.
The location of the proposed site, at Jelbert Way in Penzance, was highlighted as a key advantage, with the Council saying that the near sea level location “may help reduce the economic and social impact of poor weather”, to the particular benefit of islanders needing to travel for healthcare, business and education.
The submission also states that the public transport connectivity of Penzance could “increase the viability of many journeys to Scilly”, while increased competition will hopefully drive “improvements in customer service, value for money and resilience”.
Council chairman Ted Moulson expressed his personal thanks to the team behind the project for their continued dedication to the scheme.
The amended planning application for Penzance Heliport was submitted in mid-January and will be assessed by Cornwall Council’s strategic planning committee in the coming weeks.
The amended application demonstrates that the project will unlock £31m of investment in the islands and provide a £9m boost to West Cornwall, as well as helping increase transport capacity and reliability.
Cornwall Council gave its unanimous support to the project in February 2017, but its decision was met by a series of legal challenges from the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group.
The amended application is available for viewing and commenting at www.cornwall.gov.uk/planning
Read the full statement from the Council of the Isles of Scilly Planning Department (February 2018), below:
“The Council of the Isles of Scilly strongly supports the planning application for a heliport in Penzance because of the economic and social benefits it could bring to the islands. The project has backing from Full Council who resolved to support a motion in favour of the heliport on 26 January 2017.
“The Council recognises that a thriving island community requires a transport system that is reliable, resilient and integrated. The evidence that informed the Strategic Economic Plan for the Isles of Scilly shows that transport is one of the key barriers to securing a sustainable future for the islands. The Council's corporate plan highlights the strategic importance of good transport and makes it a priority.
“The establishment of a helicopter service at Penzance will provide more travel options to and from the Isles of Scilly. The town's good public transport connections mean that operating from the proposed location could increase the viability of many journeys to Scilly. The investment in the facility demonstrates private sector optimism for the future of the islands and may stimulate new economic activity. We hope that the increased competition in air travel will drive improvements in customer service, value for money and resilience.
“The proposed service may also help to reduce the economic and social impact of poor weather. Penzance is lower lying than Land's End Airport which may mean that helicopter flights are less likely to be cancelled or delayed during periods of poor visibility (low cloud cover). Having an alternative flight service under these conditions will have benefits to those who are unable to delay journeys for many reasons including access to healthcare, business interests, and accessing education and assessment.
“The Chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, Councillor Ted Moulson, would like to offer his personal thanks to the team behind the project for driving the re-introduction of rotary services.”