Flamingo Land holiday resort plans 'the most objected to in history'

The plans, which would see a hotel and holiday lodges built in Balloch, have been hit with 65,000 objections.

Flamingo Land plans for Loch Lomond holiday resort ‘the most objected to in Scottish planning history’ LDRS

Plans to build a holiday resort on the banks of Loch Lomond have become the most objected to in Scottish planning history, according to opponents.

The controversial move to build a tourist and visitor complex on the land in Balloch has been met with approximately 65,000 objections.

Various versions of the plans have been considered over seven years with the current blueprints for the site including a hotel, a monorail, more than 100 lodges and a watersports hub.

While many residents and community figures say it would help boost the economy of Balloch and the wider West Dunbartonshire area, others have raised concerns about the impact on nature and the natural landscape.

The director for the development, which has been named Lomond Banks, argued the plans would “revitalise” the area and said the nearby ancient woodland of Drumkinnon would be left untouched.

However, the objections to the latest plans outstrip the number raised against the company’s previous proposals, which had held the record for the most objections in the country.

The Scottish Green Party has been fighting against the plans for years, with West of Scotland MSP Ross Greer leading a campaign in opposition to the development.

“There can be no clearer sign for those considering this nature wrecking application that the public do not want it in our National Park,” he said.

“A record number of people, more than the 60,000 who objected previously, agree that this is the wrong plan for the wrong place and that it should be rejected at the earliest opportunity.

“The community at Balloch are overwhelmingly opposed to these plans and I know how much they appreciate the support from across the country.”

He added: “Flamingo Land’s owner promised that he would rip it up and move on if it was clear the development was not wanted by the community. He should now make good on that promise and walk away.

“This ‘resort’ would be a scar on the area, a blight on a world famous natural landscape and a slap in the face to tens of thousands of people who have voiced their objections.”

Greer has called for Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to reject the plans if the firm does not choose to walk away.

Jim Paterson, development director for Lomond Banks, blasted Greer’s actions as a “sham”.

He said the development would “provide numerous opportunities and investment so that the economic benefit for Scottish tourism and the local area will be felt and enjoyed for years to come”.

Responding to the MSP, Mr Paterson said: “Ross Greer has once again demonstrated that he is more interested in clickbait politics aimed at raising his own profile than having a constructive dialogue about what could be a major investment into both the local economy in Balloch and Scotland as a whole.

“He has relentlessly tried to interfere with a statutory planning process that doesn’t sit within his jurisdiction and – in a shameless attempt to get people to click his online petition – the majority of the claims he has made about our proposals are utterly false. There is simply no way to validate the numbers he is quoting and who the people who clicked his sham petition are or where they live.”

He added: “We have had genuine and productive engagements with the local community in Balloch over the past two years. We have spoken and listened to real people, local and national businesses, and other stakeholders about how we can create a world class, sustainable tourist destination that is both fitting for the area and is sympathetic to its important location at the gateway of Loch Lomond.

“We have legally promised to leave the ancient woodland of Drumkinnon untouched and with our recent resubmission, the removal of ‘area 10’ means that infact our plans will bring about biodiversity net gain. So we are indeed a long way from the accusations Mr Greer is making.”

A spokesperson for Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park said: “

A spokesperson for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said: “An application of this scale takes a significant amount of time to assess and determine. 

“Our officers are currently working through all the submitted documents for this application, including the advice received from statutory consultees and all public comments. 

“The planning case officer will then write a report of recommendation to our members to either approve or refuse the application.

“This will be followed by a meeting held in public, where a decision will be taken by the National Park Authority Board or Planning and Access Committee to determine the outcome of the application.

“No determination date has yet been set for this application.”

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