Councillors told to back community and save Loch Lomond from Flamingo Land

We must protect Loch Lomond from Flamingo Land's mega-resort.

A mega-resort that would “wreck” Loch Lomond’s status as a world beauty spot and has become the most objected to application in Scottish planning history has failed to win the clear support of local councillors.

Flamingo Land, rebranded as ‘Lomond Banks’, wants to build a colossal development including a massive 104 lodges, 372 car parking spaces, two hotels, a waterpark and much more on the shore of Loch Lomond at Balloch.

The application admits that the development will attract as many as one car every 14 seconds at peak times, and Scottish environmental watchdog SEPA has objected on the basis of flood risk.

Last week West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) decided against either endorsing or opposing the plan at this stage, despite council planning officers recommending that they give it their support. Instead, councillors decided to reserve the right to object to the bid as it goes through the planning process. This was initially and widely reported incorrectly as councillors giving the application their support.

Councillors who ducked the chance to repeat their scathing 2019 objection to Flamingo Land’s original plans - despite a massive 85,000 objections and overwhelming local opposition  - are now being challenged to help local residents end this near decade long nightmare by lodging a fresh and unequivocal objection as soon as possible.

Yesterday (29 April), the National Park formally notified consultees of what is expected to be the final round of consultation, meaning that members of the public have another month to object.

The final decision is expected to be made by the board of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in the coming months. West Dunbartonshire Council has a significant say as the consultee responsible for roads and many other public services in the area.

When WDC debated Flamingo Land’s first application in 2019, their unanimous decision to object was quickly followed by the Yorkshire-based developer withdrawing their application at the eleventh hour.

Instead of repeating that objection, a majority of councillors supported a Labour proposal to essentially remain neutral.

Mr Greer, Scottish Green MSP for the West of Scotland, who has led the campaign against the mega-resort, commented: “This was a very disappointing decision by West Dunbartonshire Council and a huge missed opportunity.

"Councillors could have helped us bring this ridiculous saga to an end by putting their full weight behind an objection, but sadly a majority decided to take this neutral position put forward by Labour instead. Those councillors who supported the majority of their constituents deserve credit for proposing a thorough objection, which I would urge their colleagues to reconsider and adopt as soon as possible.

“West Dunbartonshire Council’s 2019 objection was key to getting Flamingo Land’s original plans dropped. Many local people will find it impossible to understand why they have decided not to object again, particularly given that Flamingo Land’s plans have not fundamentally changed and remain massively unpopular.

“Councillors should have stood with the community and against the wealthy developers trying to exploit one of Scotland’s most well loved landscapes. Instead, they have kicked the can down the road.

“The plans are opposed by a vast majority of local residents, Balloch & Haldane Community Council, 85,000 members of the public, the National Trust for Scotland and many others.

“In their desperation to make a profit out of an iconic and precious location, Flamingo Land has treated the area and its residents with contempt for almost a decade now. 

“I urge councillors to listen to the clear views of their constituents on this, submit an objection as soon as possible and help us shape a different future for Balloch, one which puts the community and environment first rather than corporate profits."

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