Local News Local News 2016

St Just Residents Pack Parish Council Meeting Over Heli-Landing Area

Helo-St-MawesAround 40 residents attended a meeting of St Just Parish Council on Monday evening to hear about a controversial helicopter landing are in the Parish.

The use of Lowen Field to land helicopters had been given permission by Cornwall Council against the objections of St Just Parish Council.

Resident Andrew Chantrill said the community wants Cornwall Council to revoke a certificate which allowed David Richards, CBE, owner of the Idle Rocks hotel and former chairman of Aston Martin, to fly in and out of the Meadow.

St Just In Roseland Parish Council had not supported Mr Richards’ bid for a renewed certificate from Cornwall Council to use the field as he has done for the past decade.

Mr Richards, who has his own helicopter, said that using the field as a “commercial helipad in St Mawes could not be further from the truth. The idea [that] suddenly [a] vast number of helicopters will descend on St Mawes is utterly ridiculous,” claiming that only five guests had landed in the field in past year.

David Richards / Prodrive Aston Martin

David Richards / Prodrive Aston Martin

He went on to say, “The truth is over the last 10 years I have been personally flying in and out of Lowen Meadow without causing any inconvenience to anyone. If I thought I was causing a genuine nuisance I would have stopped landing in this field a long time ago.”

He also added he was “perfectly happy to agree” to limit the number of landings to 52 per year, not at night, and to prevent flying over houses.

Mr Chantrill argued that planning laws were breached when Mr Richards exceeded the 28 days he was allowed to use Lowen Meadow, which is owned by a local family.  He said this started in 2006 and Cornwall Council had failed to take appropriate enforcement action.

After the Parish Council meeting, Mr Chantrill added: “The whole thing stinks. He should have been stopped. Instead he has been given a legal right to keep doing it. Lowen Meadow is unsuitable as a helipad and all parties should work together to find another site nearby that causes no nuisance. We want the council to revoke the certificate. If they do not, a group of residents will take the council on over the fact they have not followed procedure.”

Mr Richards said he was willing to compromise and look for a short-term solution with a longer-term solution in mind that would benefit the community.

Cornwall Council commented: “The Council has been notified of the potential for legal action in this matter and we are considering our position.”

What do you think? We’d like to hear your views.

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