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Councillors vote against £30m Loch Lomond leisure park

The final decision will be made by the board of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

Lomond Banks: Developers hope to build a £30m leisure park. <strong>Lomond Banks</strong>
Lomond Banks: Developers hope to build a £30m leisure park. Lomond Banks

Plans for a £30m leisure park on the shores of Loch Lomond have been unanimously rejected by West Dunbartonshire councillors.

The controversial Lomond Banks development – a joint venture between theme park operator Flamingo Land and Scottish Enterprise – include plans for a hotel, hostel, restaurants, craft brewery, boat house, leisure centre and six private houses in the Balloch area.

It is estimated that it will create 80 full-time jobs, 50 part-time jobs and 70 seasonal roles in the area.

Balloch: The proposals include private houses and a hotel. Lomond Banks

A Save Loch Lomond petition was set up in response to the development, with the campaign group arguing the need to preserve the national park for future generations.

Led by Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer, the petition has so far generated over 56,000 formal objections to the plans.

Mr Greer welcomed the council’s decision, branding the development as the “most unpopular planning application in Scottish history”.

He said: “This is a huge moment for our campaign.

“I’m delighted that West Dunbartonshire Council has, despite the apparent recommendations of officials, listened to the overwhelming opinion of local residents and others across Scotland who value our national park and want to see these plans rejected.

“Flamingo Land is the most unpopular planning application in Scottish history.

“It would see public land in our national park sold off to a private developer, whose profits will disappear out of the community and whose own environmental impact assessment conceded major damage, including injury and death to red squirrels and otters, pollution of running and standing water and damage to ancient woodland.”

Although West Dunbartonshire Council opposed the plans on Wednesday evening, the final decision will be made by the board of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

No date has been set for the decision as the consultation and statutory planning stages are still ongoing, but a full public hearing will be held before the final verdict.

A spokesperson for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said: “As the planning authority considering a live application, it is not appropriate at this stage for any comment to be made on consultation responses received or the proposals themselves.

“With all the main consultation responses now received, planning officers can finalise the assessment of these complex proposals against relevant planning policies, consultation responses and the large number of public comments received.

“The next stage is for an officer report, with a recommendation to either approve with conditions or refuse the application, to be presented to the national park board.

“The board has already agreed that a site visit followed by a full public hearing should be held before a planning decision is taken to ensure that people who have commented on the application have the opportunity to speak.

“Dates for the special hearing and board meeting are currently being identified and will be publicised to all interested parties when confirmed.”

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