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Tesco: Legal Challenge Could 'Guarantee' Scilly Flights Future

Scilly Chopper
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2:39pm 6th August 2012

Supermarket bosses have insisted they want to save Penzance's helicopter link to the Isles of Scilly.

Tesco said its legal challenge over plans to sell the heliport, aims to get a guarantee the service will continue.

But British International said the delay means it can not afford to run flights after October.

Dick Cliffe is from Penzance Chamber of Commerce. He said: "They carry alot of debt, and their creditors have been rolling it over year on year because Sainsbury's have been prepared to pay a very substantial sum, about ten million pounds, for the site. That money now, we don't know when that's ever going to be paid.

"I don't feel actually that they're particularly strong cases, but I'm not a High Court judge, and just the process of getting to the point where a judge decides that perhaps they haven't got merit is going to take months and months and months. The company really has got to hunker down, conserve its cash and try and survive."

In a statement, a Tesco spokesperson said: "We understand the value and importance of the Penzance Heliport. Its loss would impact local residents, including our staff and customers, as well as other businesses.

"We are challenging Cornwall Council, not the heliport operators. The aim of our challenge is to secure the service for the future, not end it.

"The reason for challenging is that we don't believe the council got the right legal guarantees from the developers that the heli service will continue in the future. We are fighting for these guarantees. If they existed we wouldn't need to challenge.

"Tesco has been investing in Penzance for more than fifteen years. We want to continue supporting the local community and will engage with all interested parties to ensure Penzance Heliport survives."

2:39pm 6th August 2012

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