A green campaign that saw 60,000 objections lodged against Loch Lomond resort plans has been revived after new proposals were submitted.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions last week, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer said it would be ‘unacceptable if one of the most accessible places in Loch Lomond was closed to all but the privileged few who will pay to stay at this complex.
However, Flamingo Land, which filed the plans, assured that the West Riverside area would remain fully accessible to all if the plans were approved.
Two weeks ago Flamingo Land submitted a plan submission to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority for the development of West Riverside and Woodbank House in Balloch.
Proposals include a 60-bed aparthotel, a 32-bed economy hotel, up to 127 self-contained lodges, a monorail, a leisure pool, a water park, a spa, a water sports center, restaurants, a cafe and a craft brewery with a pub. If agreed, the A-listed Woodbank House would be refurbished to provide up to 15 self-contained apartments.
The company says there are “fundamental changes” to the original plans, including the removal of development at Drumkinnon Woods.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Mr Greer said: ‘The Prime Minister will be aware of the long campaign to stop Yorkshire Flamingo Land theme park operators from developing what they describe as a luxury tourist resort on the shores of Loch Lomond at Balloch.
“Our successful efforts to defeat their first claim saw a record 60,000 objections filed with the National Park, citing damage to old-growth forests, risks to protected species, pressure on local roads, access for local residents and a host of other concerns.
“Unfortunately, Flamingo Land is back, having just submitted a new request for a development of the same scale on the same site.
“National parks are for all of us. It would be unacceptable for one of the most accessible places in Loch Lomond to be closed to all but the privileged few who will pay to stay at this resort.
Nicola Sturgeon replied: “It is up to the park authority to fully consider the application and assess the balance between the impact of the proposed development on the environment and the potential benefits.”
James Paterson, Development Director of Lomond Banks, said: “I would like to reaffirm our position that at no time will the station be closed to wider visitors.
“Our intention is to create a tourist and leisure resort that families can come and enjoy as part of their Loch Lomond/Balloch experience, not exclusively.
“With this in mind, we fully appreciate that securing access to the area is paramount to creating these strong links with the local community.
“These plans are in a location that has long been designated for such development, and we believe we have struck the right balance between bringing strong economic growth and employment opportunities to the region, being environmentally sensitive to the natural environment and insuring Lomond Banks is something everyone can enjoy.