Heliport judicial review granted

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Penzance Heliport artist illustration

A High Court judge is to review the decision to grant planning permission for a new heliport in Penzance.

The Honourable Mr Justice Holgate has granted the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company permission to pursue a judicial review of Cornwall Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the heliport in February this year.

The case will now be heard in the High Court on a date to be determined. Cornwall Council is the defendant in the action, with applicant Penzance Heliport Limited listed as an interested party.

The Steamship Company claims Cornwall Council’s decision was flawed in a number of areas. It has called for an independent and evidenced-based debate about the potential impact of a heliport at Penzance and believes Land’s End Airport would be a better location for a helicopter service.

Andrew May, chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, said: “We have proudly served the Isles of Scilly for almost one hundred years and we will continue to work to secure the best long-term interests of the community.

“The judge’s decision to grant leave to pursue a judicial review is recognition that the original planning decision is worthy of further scrutiny.

“We support a return of a helicopter service, but we believe it is in the best long-term interests of the islands and its transport system to use Land’s End Airport rather than duplicate existing facilities at Penzance.

“So although we will continue to prepare for the judicial review hearing, we are actively trying to encourage and facilitate the helicopter service from Land’s End Airport and are well aware of the support that exists for it.”

In a statement, Penzance Heliport Ltd said it was “disappointed” that the Steamship Company had taken this move.

It said: “This is just a formality and signals nothing more than the Judge’s agreement that elements of the case may proceed to court. It is not a judgment on the worthiness of either the Steamship Company or Cornwall Council’s case.

“We remain disappointed that the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company has taken this move but are absolutely convinced that Cornwall Council’s decision was the right one and that this will be reflected in the outcome of the case.”