There were astonishing scenes in Penzance on Friday night, as hundreds of locals turned out to voice their feeling over the proposed Penzance Harbour development and Isles of Scilly Ferry Link.
Local MP Andrew George had called the meeting at St John’s Hall to discuss the future of the Penzance Harbour to Isles of Scilly Link, and the plans for a new ferry and freight terminal in Penzance.
The large capacity hall filled to overflowing and more than a 100 people were, at one stage, left outside unable to get in to take part in the event. The meeting had to be delayed whilst health and safety regulations were discussed and an anteroom used as an overspill.
George explained to the meeting that he was determined that the project should succeed and that £30 million of public funding which had been made available should not be lost.
The meeting heard from Mike Waters, chairman of Penzance Chamber of Commerce; John Maggs of the Friends of Penzance Harbour; Cllr Roy Mann, mayor of Penzance; Cllr Roger Harding of Cornwall Council; Cllr Tamsin Williams of Cornwall Council; and Mike Sagar Fenton of the Golowan Festival Committee.
George requested a show of hands to indicate how many of those present were in support of the proposal to build on the Battery Rocks Beach, how many preferred the proposed out of town freight terminal and how many didn’t mind. The results were Battery Rocks Beach 3, didn’t mind 1, and out of town freight depot over 500!
George said: “The phenomenal turn out for the meeting on a Friday when many people have other social engagements and on an evening of inclement weather sends a very clear message. The people of Penzance are very proud of their link with the Isles of Scilly, care about it and want to be involved in its future plans.
“Local people understand that further scoping and investigatory work needs to be completed before we will know whether the out of town freight terminal option will provide a cost efficient service and will not delay the implementation of the project, thus forfeiting £30 million of public funds which are essential for its success.
“In the circumstances, it would be unwise of Cornwall Council to ignore a public meeting of this magnitude.”