More than 5,000 people have signed a petition in support of a proposal to build a heliport in Penzance after the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company launched legal proceedings against it.
The petition, calling for the Company to withdraw its legal challenge against the new heliport was launched by islander and businesswoman Sam Mallon on Tuesday night.
The petition states:
“We, the residents, visitors and friends of the Isles of Scilly, object to the actions of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group in seeking to deny us a helicopter service from Penzance.
“Penzance is the only logical site as it suffers less from low cloud and fog than Land's End, is close to transport links and has existing tourist facilities.
“We demand that the Directors of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group put islanders first and cease their attempts to prevent a new helicopter service from Penzance.”
Members of the community and further afield have been changing their social media profile pictures to a helicopter and the hashtag #IsupportPenzanceHeliport has been trending locally on social media.
Robert Dorrien-Smith, who is behind the proposals to bring back the helicopter service, said: “The community reaction has been astounding. I have always been resolute that this is the right thing for the islands, and that the Steamship Company’s actions are nothing but an anti-competitive attempt to cling onto their monopoly.
“The reaction of the public – islanders, locals of Penzance and visitors and lovers of Scilly – has demonstrated that the whole community feels the same way.
“I would also like to thank Sam Mallon for launching this petition and leading the community action. The fact that this is a grassroots, local reaction to the behaviour of a monopoly seeking to control an entire community should speak volumes.”
Robert continued: “I would like to sincerely thank all those who have expressed their support, whether on social media, by telephone, email or in the street.
“The public reaction to this has demonstrated that the people of Scilly, and those who love these islands, will not be bullied and will stand up for what is right for this community.”
We'll have more on this story as it develops and are hoping to speak to Robert Dorrien-Smith in the near future.