Noise, emissions – and a totally avoidable contribution to global warming? “No thanks”, say local Greens.
West Cornwall Green Party has thrown its weight behind the fight against a new heliport at Eastern Green.
“This is the local equivalent of Heathrow’s third runway” said local Green activist Tim Andrewes. “Helicopters are fuel-hungry, and for every passenger mile make a disproportionately large contribution to global warming. It’s quite ironic, really –global warming will hasten sea-level rise, and the Isles of Scilly will be among the first – and worst – affected parts of the UK.”
“Another irony is that people visit the Scillies – and particularly Tresco – for the peace and quiet”, Tim added. “The proposed new service might get people there quicker – but when they arrive, will it be quite the calm and stress-free paradise they’d hoped?”
In a detailed letter to the Cornishman and Cornwall Council, branch secretary Karen la Borde points out that helicopters produce more harmful emissions than fixed wing aircraft, trains or diesel buses. The letter also makes clear that the application runs counter to Cornwall Council transport policy, which states clearly that the Council will “ensure our communities are safer and more enjoyable places to live” and reduce “the negative impacts of transport”. “We are obviously pleased to see that there seems to have been plenty of discussion with Natural England about the impact on seals and seabirds”, Karen pointed out. “If only the same consideration had been given to the life and habitat of the local human population!”
“There is no need for a new service”, said Dr John Rawles of Penzance “People travelling to the Scillies already have a choice of flights from Exeter, Newquay and Lands End – as well as that well-loved local institution, the Scillonian.”
Residents of Penzance, Long Rock and Gulval currently enjoy clean air. But the question councillors should be asking, Karen points out, is: “will they still be doing so if a heliport is built next to their homes?”
And there’s one more thing that many people don’t realise: ‘flying hours’ will be much longer than with the previous service. If permission is given for 7 day-a-week flying from the start, then backtracking will be almost impossible later. “If you don’t want to feel frazzled by endless helicopter traffic in the future”, said Green Party Penzance Town Councillor Jonathan How, “then make sure that Cornwall Council hears your opinion on flying hours now!”
Want to read Karen’s letter in full? Heliport Application letter