Developers have unveiled ambitious final plans for a controversial £30 million tourism hub at the foot of Loch Lomond that would see the creation of a “world-class family holiday village”.
The project, at Balloch, would include a new boat house and craft brewery, as well as two hotels and self-catering accommodation, under a master plan submitted to the local council.
The proposals include a 60-bedroom apart-hotel, 32-bedroom budget accommodation, a craft brewery, boat house, leisure centre and restaurants as well as upgrades to public footpaths and green spaces.
The plans, submitted by the company behind the Flamingo Land theme park in the north of England, have been altered from the original outline submitted to the council last year – following opposition from residents.
MSP Ross Greer has led a campaign against the proposals. There have so far been 1,180 objections to the proposal since the outline plans were submitted last year, with just 50 people in support of the project.
Expected to be completed by 2024 – if approved – the development would bring 80 full-time jobs, 50 part-time jobs and up to 70 seasonal posts to the area. Developers Iconic Leisure Developments said they had been “inspired” by award-winning tourism forest adventure parks and woodland accommodation already on offer in Scotland’s National Parks.
Andy Miller, director at Lomond Banks, said: “As you can see from our artist impressions, we are fully committed to seeing Balloch become the true gateway to Loch Lomond.
“Our plans for West Riverside and Woodbank House offer an opportunity for a unique leisure-based development and with Lomond Banks, Scotland will have a quality destination that respects and complements the surrounding area.”
The investment would also include the creation of six family homes – reduced from the original plan for 20 – a leisure centre and restaurants, as well as upgrades to public footpaths, dog walking routes and greenspaces. The developers would also convert and extend Woodbank House to form 15 residential flats.
Lomond Banks said the plans were “in line with the vision that has been held by development agencies and the local authority since the early 1990s” and would “protect the natural woodland setting”.
On a section of his website, entitled “Help Save Loch Lomond – say no to Flamingo Land in Balloch”, Mr Greer said: “A large chunk of Loch Lomond is to be handed over to a private owner for the sake of a high-end tourist resort. The damage this will do far outweighs any positives.”
Local people will have the opportunity to view and comment on the plans as part of the process.
The application will be determined by The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park planning and access committee.
One resident, Stephen Forrester from nearby Alexandria, wrote last month on the council’s planning portal: “I’m against the horrendous plan to build Flamingo World at Loch Lomond.”
Another resident wrote to planners: “This is not a time for a bargain, this is not a time for a Ryanair approach.”
Source: The Scotsman