Fresh blow for £40m Flamingo Land resort after locals take back support

A reformed community council in Loch Lomond said it no longer supports the huge project.

Fresh blow for £40m Loch Lomond Flamingo Land resort after local group takes back support iStock

Plans to build a massive holiday resort on the banks of Loch Lomond have been dealt another blow after a reformed community group said it no longer backs the project.

The controversial £40m proposals by Yorkshire-based Flamingo Land to build a tourist and visitor complex – including a hotel, self-catering lodges and a water park – in Balloch have already been met with more than 80,000 objections.

According to campaigners, the development has become the most unpopular planning application in Scottish history.

Various versions of the plans have been considered over eight 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 the natural landscape.

Despite the backlash, the Lomond Banks project was supported by the Balloch and Haldane Community Council in 2022.

A reformed version of the local group has written to the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority to oppose the plans.

It has raised concerns about the resort’s impact on public services in the area, the environment and the A82.

A spokesperson for the Balloch and Haldane Community Council said: “We do not believe the benefits and costs of Lomond Banks will be evenly distributed.

“Flamingo Land owners will surely benefit from one of their sites being featured in one of the world’s most iconic visitor locations, but residents will most certainly suffer in terms of overcrowding, pollution and additional pressure on already strained infrastructure and public services.”

Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer said: “Our record-setting 80,000 objections show how strongly people across Scotland feel about this destructive and totally unacceptable proposal.

“Local opposition in particular is massive. Balloch residents could not be clearer in their rejection of Flamingo Land’s plans. I am delighted that the new Balloch and Haldane Community Council are now able to express the real anger felt by residents after a decade of this threat hanging over their community. Their objection really should be the final nail in the coffin for the application. 

“What Flamingo Land is proposing is far too big, far too destructive and totally out of step with what the community needs. We must protect one of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes and local businesses from these plans.”

Jim Paterson, development director for Lomond Banks, said: “Our team has been involved in extensive consultations for more than a year with the public, local stakeholders and business alike, and we have been encouraged throughout the process by the level of support that sits within the community for our revised plans and all the benefits that these would bring.

“We are disappointed by the change of position by Balloch and Haldane Community Council, but will look to engage with them as they further consider their position and thoughts on the plans, and we remain confident our proposals are in keeping with NPF4 guidelines in terms of flooding and biodiversity.

“It’s our firm belief that Lomond Banks will bring considerable economic and social benefit to the region.

“We have pledged to not only be a good neighbour, a responsible employer and green operator, but Lomond Banks will ensure that, if given the opportunity, this world-class tourism development, in an area of Loch Lomond that has been identified in the local development plans by both West Dunbartonshire Council and the National Park Authority for such a purpose, will be a source of pride amongst the local community for generations to come.”

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