A heart expert has written to Cornwall Council saying there is a “lack of compelling data” to support claims a heliport in Penzance will damage cardiovascular health.

Dr Richard Mansfield, a Consultant Cardiologist with almost 30 years’ experience, says there is “not enough evidence” to support campaigners’ claims that Penzance Heliport will increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes in the local population.

In leaflets distributed across Penzance, campaign group ‘Stop the Chop’ suggest noise from Penzance Heliport will “cause a 15% increase in cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes”.

Dr Mansfield says: “In my professional opinion I do not believe that there is enough evidence to suggest that aircraft noise from such a development would pose a significant cardiovascular risk to those living in the immediate vicinity. Anyone making such a claim is doing so with a lack of compelling data to support it.”

Addressing the medical reports cited by the campaigners, Dr Mansfield adds: “Studies supporting an increased risk suggest that this may be due to elevated blood pressure. But this observation is confounded by other population risk factors such as cigarette smoking and ethnicity as well as study methodology.

“The published data regarding aircraft noise in particular is collected from large populations living in the immediate vicinity of a major international airport including London Heathrow and Schipol in Amsterdam. This is not comparable to Penzance.”

Cornwall Council’s Strategic Planning Committee will decide on the application at a meeting on Thursday 2nd August. The meeting will be webcast through the Cornwall Council website.

The Cornwall Council Planning Officers’ Report, released ahead of the meeting, recommends approval of the project for its “significant social and economic benefit to the businesses, residents and visitors of the Scillies and wider economic benefits to West Cornwall.”

You can view Dr Mansfield’s letter to Cornwall Council here.