BIH Meeting with St Erth Residents Over Heliport Opposition

British International Helicopters bosses are meeting with St Erth residents on Thursday, following local opposition to the planned heliport.

Last month, the permission required to sell the current Eastern Green site to Sainsbury’s was approved and St Erth has been proposed as the new heliport site.

The site has been chosen to link with a new park and ride scheme for Penzance and St Ives and because it has a railway station.

Placards and banners opposing the heliport are visible along the A30 past the village and online petitions have been started.

BIH Chief Executive, Tony Jones told Radio Scilly, “we appreciate this is a sensitive planning application and we understand why there are some concerns amongst the local community.  We have consulted widely with that community and continue to do so to understand their concerns and explore ways in which we can address or mitigate them.”

Tony says that he will attend this week’s session on the invitation of the Parish Council.

He says his team will be updating the community and also exploring ways in which they can work more closely with the St Erth residents. He has suggested a representative working group.

The helicopter company is operating test flights around the village over the next two weeks.

Tony says, “In order to replicate normal everyday conditions, and in consultation with St Erth Parish Council, they will be unannounced.”

On October 13th, St Ives Council voted against the heliport relocation plans. St Ives Town Council were consulted as a neighbouring parish, and the parish response for St Erth is yet to be submitted by St Erth Parish Council.

St Ives Town Clerk, Louise Dowe, told us, “There was strong support for the helicopter link to the Isles of Scilly, but St Ives Council’s response reflects concern at the proposed location.  Unlike the Sainsbury’s planning consent meeting, no members of the public had requested to speak at the meeting.”

Tony Jones says, “We respect their decision but following an extensive search we do believe we have the most appropriate available site in West Cornwall.”

The application is set to go before Cornwall planners in December.

Tony denies that uncertainty is affecting the business. He says the company continues to receive bookings and are liaising closely with staff and regular customers regarding the proposals.

He says, “There is a level of flexibility in our contract with Sainsbury’s to ensure there is no interruption to service next year.”