Robert Dorrien-Smith has said that he will definitely go ahead with a new helicopter service if he is granted planning permission for a heliport in Penzance.

The Tresco owner said that he has been researching restoring the service “since before it even stopped” and has been in discussions with people from Government Ministers to Chairmen of companies who build helicopters.


He told This is Scilly: “It was very difficult to make the jigsaw fit together for lots of different reasons and we looked at lots of different sites and locations and getting everything lined up became really difficult. 


“So I simply said right, I’ve had enough of this. The family has a long history of investing in the Isles of Scilly and I’m prepared to put my own cash behind it and we will build our heliport in Penzance, which is the perfect location as has been proved through history and experience. It was the best thing for everybody and nobody could possibly say otherwise. 


“So rather than faffing about as it was with all the other possibilities I decided to make it a certainty by making this application and if we get planning permission we are ready to go and we will do it. And if anyone wants to put money into it and support it then that’s a different matter but as it stands this is my project and I’m going to do it.”


On whether he is confident that planning permission will be granted, he said: “I think I’m confident that we’ve done very thorough research into all aspects of planning permission. Planning permission isn’t just an emotional thing. You’ve got to tick off a lot of technical boxes. You’ve got to go into great detail on fumes and ecology and wildlife and traffic and transport – all these different things.


“Doing something of this nature needs the best specialist advice and we have employed the best specialists so I think we will be able to produce a very convincing and watertight case for this location and the service. 


“And we have chosen equipment that is very much quieter than the previous one which concerned some people. Inevitably something that’s been designed 10 years ago is going to be a lot more efficient than something designed 60 years ago so that was obviously a bonus.”


He added: “Nobody can ever tell with planning permission, it’s a lottery but we have certainly done everything humanly possible with no expense spared on the best possible consultants.”

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