The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group has responded to a new petition revealing that 97% of islanders polled are in favour of the proposed heliport in Penzance.
Out of the 494 opinions given to Kathy and David Stedeford last week, 479 (97%) were in favour of the plans for a heliport in Penzance, seven (1.4%) supported the Steamship Group's objections and eight (1.6%) abstained.
An ISSG spokesman said: “The Steamship Company supports the democratic right of residents living on the Isles of Scilly to campaign on issues they passionately care about, including petitioning local voters. And we are grateful for Mr and Mrs Stedeford’s kind words for the Steamship Company’s wider work.
“However, Cornwall Council has a duty of care to residents living in and around Penzance. Despite this application first being lodged in October 2016, our previous analysis of supporter data has found that just 3.2% of residents living in Penzance have registered their support for the new heliport via an online petition. And the location of nearly three-quarters of supporters registered via Cornwall Council’s planning portal cannot be identified.
"In the last six weeks, opposition to the heliport has more than tripled from 60 to 194 individuals registering their legitimate concerns on a range of issues related to the proposed development.
“Like all stakeholders we want to see a resilient and reliable transport network, which is why we started Island Helicopters in May and have a three-year contract in place for a scheduled helicopter service from Land’s End Airport to the Isles of Scilly, complementing our fixed wing and sea services.”
Last week, Kathy and David Stedeford attempted to find out the views of as many people on the electoral roll as possible in order to ascertain the level of support on Scilly for the heliport plans. Kathy will now send the signed forms to Cornwall Council's Strategic Planning Committee to represent the opinions of islands' residents.
There is a public meeting at St Johns Hall, Penzance at 6pm today (July 23rd) for people to express their views on the heliport proposal. Cornwall Council's Strategic Planning Committee will then meet to decide the application on August 2nd at 10am.