ISLANDERS FLOCK TO HELICOPTER CONSULTATION
Over 250 islanders and visitors attended Friday’s public exhibition at the Wesleyan Chapel for the proposed new helicopter service from Penzance.
The support was described as ‘staggering’ with 99% stating on feedback forms that they supported the proposal.
Of 118 completed forms, just one was returned with a ‘don’t know’ in response to the question of supporting the proposed helicopter link.
Organiser Robert Dorrien-Smith said: ‘From today it’s all positive. We want to find out what people think and if they have suggestions that we may have overlooked. We will then put that all information together and that will form the final basis of the planning application."
Robert Francis, Chairman of the Islands’ partnership told us: ‘Travel has been the single most difficult problem for us over the last four or five years. I don’t think we ever realised what things would be like when we lost the helicopter.
“The visitor numbers certainly suffered initially, fortunately it’s a bit better now, but this is giving our guests and our community another option."
Kathy Stedeford, leader of the Community Transport Initiative described it as ‘the best news we’ve had for years', adding: “It’s one of the biggest selling points we have. After 50 years of living here I still get excited about getting on a helicopter.”
Local resident Mary Leathers said she welcomed the potential return of the helicopter ‘particularly for medical appointments’ while businessman Richard Chiverton said: “I think it’s great. To have another option to get on and off the islands is exactly what we need.”
Robert confirmed that the application will be submitted “in about three weeks’ time”.