Steamship Group responds to Penzance Heliport petition
The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group (ISSG) has played down the significance of a petition supporting a heliport in Penzance.
Scillonian Sam Mallon, who started the petition last year, recently sent it to the directors of the ISSG and copied in Cornwall Council, which is due to hear an amended planning application in the coming weeks.
The petition has garnered 11,688 signatures since it began in May 2017.
The ISSG posted on its website after receiving a copy: "Only 3.2% of the population of Penzance has backed plans for a new heliport in the town.
"A detailed analysis of a petition sent to the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group and copied to Cornwall Council shows that only 10.6% (1,220) of the 11,507 signatories with valid postcodes live in the Penzance postcode area.
"According to 2015 data from the ‘National Statistics Postcode Lookup’, which is produced by ONS Geography, the population of the Penzance postcode area is 38,133 – meaning that just 3.2% of local residents have registered their support for the Penzance Heliport planning application on the 38 Degrees website. Almost three quarters of the signatories are from outside of Cornwall."
A spokesman for the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group said: “We were sent a copy of the petition on Friday by supporters of the Penzance Heliport proposals and have conducted a detailed analysis of where the signatures have come from.
“Less than one in ten of the signatories actually live in the Penzance postcode area and they represent just 3.2% of the local population.
“Cornwall Council has a duty of care to local people most impacted by these proposals and it would be wrong for their voices to be drowned out by those from elsewhere.
The spokesman added: “We continue to question the need for a heliport when there is a reliable and resilient helicopter passenger service operating from Land’s End Airport just a few miles away."