Tuesday, 25 October 2016
The planning application for Penzance Heliport has received impressive support! Over 1000 letter/comments are registered in favour and only 4 are against the application. The vast majority of comments are posted by visitors. There needs to be more inputs from islanders making the case for the helicopter service from a community perspective. See previous post for a list of benefits for the island community.
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
The planning application for the new Penzance Heliport can be found at the link here (click “Related Documents” tab and then click link “View Associated Documents” to see application and supporting docs.
It is important that members of the public and organizations that support the return of the helicopter service register their support on Cornwall Council’s online planning register.
There are already over 500 representations from the public supporting this planning application but you cannot have too many! It is important that representations cover the wide range of benefits to island residents, local businesses and visitors because this important new service can too easily be mis-represented by interest groups with narrow objectives as just a service for few privileged visitors to Tresco rather than a lifeline to the entire island community (which the BIH services was for four decades). Some examples of the benefits are listed:
- More resilient, dependable transport links for residents with the mainland in the winter when there is no ferry service.
- Ability for residents with significant disabilities/mobility issues to travel to/from the islands in the winter. Ability to travel with more dignity in some special cases.
- Alternative and more resilient transport for essential medical travel to the mainland.
- Less pressure on older residents with disabilities and/or medical conditions to move permanently to the mainland because of winter transport constraints.
- Social and economic sustainability of the island community (an amalgam of the previous issues).
- More dependable links with the mainland to support local business.
- Development of out-of-season tourism (currently severely constrained) through more dependable winter travel.
- Making the islands more accessible to older visitors and visitors with mobility issues.
It is important that the diversity of benefits is captured because these are summarized by the Planning Officer in his report to members of the Planning Committee determining the application.
Benefits that help sustain a thriving, balanced island community are particularly weighty because nobody wants to see the island community wither into a transient, seasonal community supporting a summer tourism business. This is not say that the tourism sector (and its overwhelming contribution to the island economy) and the support of visitors to the islands is not important and a very welcome.
Register Support Online:
To register support online click ‘Comments’ tab at this link and then click “Login and make a comment”. You are then invited to register if you have not done so previously. Keep comments pithy (cut and paste from Word recommended) – all formatting is lost when comments are posted so your post becomes one large paragraph when viewed no matter how carefully laid out when submitted.
Register Support by Letter:
You can mail letters of support to Cornwall Council. Cornwall Council (Planning), County Hall, Treyew Rd, Truro TR1 3AY. Planning Ref: PA16/09346 (important!). This may be preferable for longer submissions and for submissions from significant organizations.
See Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/iostransport/
Planning Application: http://planning.cornwall.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OEL21QFGG7U00
Planning Application (List of documents filed) http://docs.planning.cornwall.gov.uk/rpp/index.asp?caseref=PA16/09346
Thursday, 25 August 2016
There will be a public exhibition for islanders to find out more about the new helicopter service on Friday 16th September, 12.30pm – 3pm at The Old Weslyan Chapel, St Mary’s.
FRIST (the campaign group, Friends of Isles of Scilly Transport) welcomes news of plans to re-establish a helicopter service between the islands and Penzance.
FRIST Co-ordinator, Marian Bennett says:
“Transport links with the mainland are of critical importance to islanders and the economy of the islands but they have always been vulnerable to disruption by the weather. The helicopter service was always the most dependable and versatile link and its termination in November 2012 after many decades of operation harmed the community and damaged the economy of both the islands and West Cornwall. I am delighted by news of plans to re-establish the helicopter service.
"The new service will improve overall transport resilience, provide travellers with more travel options and the competitive edge will serve to drive up standards of customer service. The new service will justifiably lift confidence in the future of islands. It will be a strategically important development.”