Lomond Banks planning application withdrawn
Flamingo Land Ltd and Scottish Enterprise, have today (17 September) informed the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority that they collectively wish to withdraw the live planning application for the proposed Lomond Banks leisure development at Balloch.
The decision comes after the National Park planning officers’ published report highlighted new concerns regarding the scale of proposals for the Pierhead and Drumkinnon Woods areas. This will allow the planning applicants sufficient time to understand new concerns, provide additional information requested and consider the most appropriate course of action for all parties involved.
Andy Miller, Director, Lomond Banks, said: “We’ve been working hard with all parties, including the National Park Authority, for more than two years to ensure all information relating to the proposed development was made readily available. We appreciate the planners have engaged professionally with our team during the application process, and we know the National Park recognise that the majority of what we propose fits in with the LDP. It is therefore surprising and disappointing that their recommendation report raises previously unidentified concerns and highlights the need for new additional information.
“Our priority now is to fully understand concerns, gather the necessary information and dispel some of the myths that continue to circulate around our ambitions for the site. It is only at this point, we will consider re-submitting our plans to ensure decision makers will be able to take a fully informed decision on this important application.”
Allan McQuade, Director, Scottish Enterprise, said: “Any proposed plan and investment of this scale must be considered from all angles and subsequent planning and investment decisions based on hard evidence and fact therefore it is only right that the current planning application be withdrawn to allow sufficient time for all parties to consider additional new information.
“As with previous developments at Loch Lomond, we understand people are concerned and our priority is to ensure that any development on the parcel of derelict land in Balloch is delivered in line with planning policy.”
LOMOND BANKS TIMELINE:
- In 2016 Scottish Enterprise, in partnership with Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority (LLTNPA), promoted the remainder of SE’s landholding at West Riverside for tourism development
- After a national marketing campaign, Flamingo Land Ltd (FL) was selected as preferred developer for the 44 acres (18 hectares) site
- FL Purchase the neighbouring derelict 12 acre former Woodbank Hotel site
- Development at West Riverside and Woodbank is to be named ‘Lomond Banks’ and is supported by the Local Development Plan which identifies the area for “Mixed Use Leisure” and “Visitor Experience” development aims to create a world-class tourist destination in Balloch
- The proposals outline an ambitious tourism and leisure led mixed use development including an apart-hotel, hostel and lodges; an indoor swimming pool and water park; restaurants and craft brewery; tree top walkway, monorail and public realm enhancements providing strong links to Balloch and Loch Lomond Shores
- FL submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) to LLTNPA in October 2017. As part of that process a series of public consultation events were held to share initial plans and allow feedback via questionnaires provided
- These public events were well attended and resulted in over 500 people attending and 385 questionnaires being completed across 3 days
- FL recognise the sensitive nature of the site and following the consultation events have removed some of the more controversial elements including a 100m viewing tower, and reconfiguration of the leisure club back from the beach area
- FL and SE submitted a Planning Permission in Principle (PPiP) application on 4 May 2018. Since then LLTNPA requested further information from the developer which has now been provided and determination of the application was expected 24th September 2019
- The proposed £30m development is expected to bring c.80 new FT jobs, c.50 PT jobs and c.70 seasonal jobs at peak periods as well as significantly enhance the area, and Balloch's tourism offering
- SEPA objected to the application stating that they require further technical information around flood risk. The developer provided this information and the objection was lifted. (WDC objected)
- Balloch and Haldane Community Council, & Friends of Loch Lomond & Trossachs conservation charity broadly support the development, however, local MSP Ross Greer started an online petition which currently has c.57k signatures and the application itself has c.1100 objections primarily relating to environmental and transport concerns and opposition to the perception of a ‘theme park’