A new analysis of Cornwall Council’s planning portal data reveals that the location of nearly three quarters (2,355) of Penzance Heliport supporters registered on the site cannot be determined, raising fresh questions about the levels of local support for the controversial project.
In recent weeks and in the run-up to a public meeting scheduled for the 23rd July 2018, official spokespeople for the Heliport and third-party advocates have inflated the levels of support for the controversial scheme. Pro-Penzance Heliport campaigners have stepped-up their PR efforts as their proposals have come under increased scrutiny from public health experts and environmental campaigners – who have called on Cornwall Council to launch an investigation into the potential noise and other negative impacts on the local community.
However, a fresh analysis by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company of official supporter data for Penzance Heliport registered on Cornwall Council’s planning portal (ref: PA16/09346) between the 13th October 2016 and the 14th June 2018 reveals the following:
1.Despite the planning application first being submitted in October 2016, just 6% (191) of 3,181 registered supporters self-identify themselves as being either a “local resident” or from “Penzance”.
- The population of Penzance is 38,133 (ONS Geography, 2015) – meaning that just 5% of the local population have publicly registered their support for the Penzance Heliport.
2.18% (573) self-identify as living in Cornwall.
3. 9% (286) self-identify as being a resident of the Isles of Scilly.
4. 8% (255) of registered supporters classify themselves as living outside of Cornwall.
5. 74% (2,355) of registered supporters could not be determined.
A similar, but separate study conducted by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company also indicated that just 3.2% of local residents backed the Heliport through an online petition organised by supporters via 38 Degrees, a campaigning platform.
Since the 14th June 2018, registered local opposition has more than doubled (from 63 to 131).
Between the 14th – 27th June 2018, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company conducted a ‘keyword search analysis’ of the 3,741 individuals registered on Cornwall Council’s planning portal between the 16th October 2016 and the 14th June 2018.
Of the 3,741, 85% (3,183) registered themselves as supporters, 1% (21) as neutral and 2% (63) as opposed.
Since this analysis was conducted, 3,373 (+6%) have registered their support and 131 (+107%) state they are opposed to the development.