Tesco Withdraws Judicial Review On Heliport Site

Tesco have announced they have withdrawn their judicial review over the selling of the Penzance heliport site.

They say they have received a letter of assurance from British International Helicopters that they would continue the service if there were no other legal challenges.

However, we’ve not had a formal notification yet from BIH that they will continue their service beyond their announced closure date of 1st November.

The Scilly to Penzance operator said on 1st August that they were stopping rotary flights after Tesco lodged a judicial review to Cornwall Council’s handling of the planning consent for Sainsbury’s development of a superstore on the current heliport site.

But Tesco say they have now pulled their objection, leaving just one from a former Steamship Company Chief Executive Charlie Cartwright. Two weeks ago, we asked him whether he would drop his objection if Tesco pulled theirs, but he said he didn’t know.

Tesco spokesman Michael Kissman said they met with the BIH board recently to discuss the judicial review. He said BIH had written to Tesco over the weekend confirming that if all reviews are withdrawn, they would commit to continuing services.

Tesco said they felt there was a real desire on the part of BIH to continue services and so were happy to stand aside and withdraw their own review.

Dudley Mumford, Chairman of the Transport Strategy Committee said: “We have still got some way to go before we can be assured that helicopters will continue to Scilly beyond October. However this is a significant step in the right direction. We welcome this decision from Tesco, and are pleased that they are now doing what is best for our community.”

BIH’s press team, who also handle Sainsbury PR relating to Penzance, said this morning that they hadn’t seen a copy of Tesco’s statement.

They are preparing their own statement for release.