Over the past few days, the Penzance Heliport team has been meeting to discuss our planning conditions. These may sound dull, but we think they’re pretty important…
That’s because planning conditions detail how we will ensure the Heliport is a sustainable, quality asset for Penzance and the Isles of Scilly for many years to come, whilst minimising the impact on our neighbours and the local environment.
The Penzance Heliport development has a total of 40 planning conditions, covering everything from construction and flying hours to road signage and building materials. We take a look at some of the conditions below, but you can view the entire list on the Cornwall Council planning website.
Many conditions refer to the build phase of the project. Among other things, before or during construction we will:
- Detail the exact appearance of our buildings. We have already confirmed the hangar will be clad in locally sourced unfinished timber with Cornish granite detailing, but this will provide more detail on the exact finishes
- Restrict construction hours to 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am – 1pm on Saturdays, with no construction on Sundays or bank holidays, to minimise the impact on our neighbours
- Ensure we protect trees and hedgerows, prevent harm to local wildlife such as bats and birds, and use native planting to landscape the site
As you would expect, many of our conditions place restrictions on our operations. Among other things, we will:
- Promote public transport and sustainable transport to reach the heliport – things like our electric shuttle bus from Penzance railway station, and the provision of cycle racks and electric vehicle chargers at the heliport
- Only use flight paths approved by Cornwall Council and the Civil Aviation Authority. We will also ensure pilots fly in a considerate manner to minimise impact on our neighbours *
- Restrict helicopters using the heliport to aircraft with the same noise profile as the AW139, to minimise the impact on local residents *
- Restrict helicopter movements (including test engines) to between 8am and 6:45pm Monday to Saturday, and 1pm and 4pm on Sundays, except where weather has cancelled flights on the previous day. There will be a maximum of 204 helicopter movements (arrivals or departures) between Monday and Saturday each week, and 8 movements on Sundays *
- Never fly within 630 metres of the Marazion Marsh Special Protection area to protect the site and its wildlife *
- Operate a different flight route between Penzance and Tresco during the bird breeding season in order to avoid overflying Internationally Designated Sites on the Isles of Scilly, including the Eastern Isles
- Continually monitor any impact of the helicopter service on birds and seals on the Isles of Scilly, including through the possible use of high definition onboard cameras
- Monitor – at our own expense and using a method agreed by Cornwall Council – our noise levels and take timely and appropriate steps to reduce noise if it exceeds those predicted in our planning application
- Form a local stakeholder forum to respond to local comments and maintain good community relations. The forum will include representatives from Penzance Heliport, Ludgvan Parish Council, Penzance Town Council, Gulval Village Community Association and Cornwall Council. This was included as a Planning Condition at our request
- Not carry out fire training involving live fires at the heliport site at any time. Such training will be carried out at alternative locations like Newquay Airport, to avoid disturbance to our neighbours
All of these factors – and more – are included as conditions of our planning consent, and we believe they are fundamentally important to ensuring the Heliport is a sustainable, quality asset to Penzance and the Isles of Scilly for many years to come.
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Cornwall Council unanimously granted conditional planning consent for Penzance Heliport on 2nd August 2018.
Penzance Heliport will operate up to 17 return flights per day throughout the year from Penzance to Tresco and St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly. Passengers will fly aboard a state of the art 15 passenger AW139 helicopter, with an expected flight time of 15 minutes.
The heliport site in Penzance, off Jelbert Way close to the former heliport site, will provide excellent connectivity to the rest of the country and improved weather resilience thanks to its near sea level location.
The construction programme will take around 12 months. To receive project updates, including a notification when tickets go on sale, sign up to our email updates.
* Operational restrictions will not apply to emergency helicopters such as the Cornwall Air Ambulance/Search and Rescue helicopters, or in exceptional circumstances for safety or weather reasons