Trade split on Loch Lomond resort

Over 50,000 objections to £30 million development

Plans include an aparthotel and brewery

WHAT’S being called the biggest planning objection in Scottish history has been submitted against a proposed £30 million holiday resort on the banks of Loch Lomond.

The controversial Lomond Banks plans, from Flamingo Land Limited and government body Scottish Enterprise, to develop a brownfield site in Balloch include a 60-bedroom apart-hotel, 125 woodland lodges, a craft brewery, water park, forest adventure rides and a monorail.

Ross Greer MSP, who organised a campaign to oppose the Lomond Banks resort via his website, handed over 53,000 objections, a record number for any planning application in Scotland, to planners in Balloch last week.

The Green MSP for West Scotland said: “Flamingo Land Loch Lomond is now the most unpopular planning application in Scottish history and when you look at their proposals, it’s no surprise why.

“Our campaign to save Loch Lomond will continue until the National Park reject these plans and this threat is ended once and for all.”

When contacted by SLTN, operators in the area were split on the proposals.

Emily Morrison, director of accommodation provider Wards Estate in Gartocharn, said she was “very much in favour” of the plans.

“I believe it will benefit the existing hospitality businesses, as there is no real off-season activities for tourists when the weather gets wet and cold, and tourists will explore the wider area,” she said.

“It should also give a much needed boost to retail in Balloch.

“I feel that not enough was done to highlight the benefits to local residents, who all imagine ‘pink neon Flamingo Land’ and the loss of an area to walk dogs. The PR situation should have been handled better.

“My only concern is the road infrastructure.”

Deputy manager of Balloch’s Tullie Inn, Stacey Wilson, also stated her support for the proposed resort.

She said: “I think the development will be good for the town. It’ll bring more jobs, more people and more money into Balloch.”

However, a local operator, who asked not to be named, said the plans would hurt the area’s existing hospitality businesses.

He said: “Once complete, I believe the sector would witness stagnation or worse decline in the longer term.

“There is one major arterial road servicing the area, the A82, which is at breaking point with existing traffic flows.

“This development will not alter the current road capacity which will create untold misery and have a negative economic impact on the local area.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Enterprise said the post-industrial brownfield site was acquired with a view to “creating a world-class tourism destination” and the organisation strongly believes the development “holds huge economic potential”, bringing a mixture of new full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs to the area.