Procedural Failing Could See Flamingo Land Legally Challenged
Green MSP Ross Greer has warned that Flamingoland's controversial bid for a major tourist development in Balloch could result in a legal challenge if the National Park fails to advertise key last minute changes.
When the application was submitted by the Yorkshire-based theme park operator in May, the all-important Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) referred to a number of "visualisations" that had been required as part of the EIA, but these were not present in the documents submitted. On August 3, the pictures were uploaded on the National Park's planning portal, but without any indication that the visualisations were the missing part of the EIA.
In submitting a detailed objection on behalf of the local Green MSP last week, planning and environmental law expert Ian Cowan gave the opinion that, as the drawings constituted a change to the EIA, the National Park are now legally required to re-advertise the plans for consultation, and failure to do so would make their final decision subject to judicial review.
The visualisations show the significant impact Flamingo Land’s plans would have on the local area, as seen from points such as across the loch and from the other side of the River Leven.
Ross Greer, Green MSP for the West of Scotland commented:
"I'd like to thank Ian and the hundreds of people whose donations allowed us to procure his services. Ian’s work has shown that the application is even more flawed that we had realised, with confusion over key aspects such as how much ancient woodland is to be destroyed and how many car parking spaces will be created.
"The revelation that of a flawed procedure around the Environmental Impact Assessment and visualisations is particularly important. Some of the visualisations show just how much of a scar on the local landscape this development would be, so it's vital that they are advertised clearly and properly."
The letter from Ian Cowan on behalf of Ross can be found here: https://greens.scot/sites/default/files/220915%20LLTNPA%20final.pdf
The concluding paragraph reads:
‘My client therefore urges you to recommend to the Authority’s Planning Committee that the Application be refused, and gives you notice that, should it be approved, my client will consider petitioning the Court of Session for judicial review of that decision.’