Cornwall

Land's End owner stops Isles of Scilly helicopter talks

British International Helicopters: Isles of Scilly helicopter
Image caption Land's End was being considered as a site for helicopter flights to the Isles of Scilly

The firm which owns Land's End has said it has broken off talks with British International Helicopters (BIH) over plans to move services to its airport.

BIH wanted to sell Penzance Heliport to a supermarket chain and move its Isles of Scilly link to Land's End.

Land's End owner, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, said its board decided the move was too risky in the current economic climate.

BIH said it was committed to its services and considering other options.

BIH had agreed to sell Penzance Heliport to Sainsbury's, subject to the supermarket firm gaining planning consent to build a new store.

Steamship Company chairman Andrew May said BIH's approach was made two years ago. He explained that "the environment and economic landscape in which our company is operating is fundamentally different now".

Mr May added: "The additional commercial, environmental and reputation risks to our business, should we have agreed to British International's proposals, are not acceptable."

The company explained that it needed to concentrate on future investments in its own ferry and freight services to the islands.

BIH managing director Tony Jones said the company was holding meetings to discuss its future options.

Some residents had protested against the plans, saying they feared that the noise from up to 12 helicopter flights a day at the height of the tourism season would harm local visitor numbers.

The Land's End Aerodrome Action Group said the area would be affected by helicopter noise and an increase in road traffic to the airfield.

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