Flamingo Land withdraw Loch Lomond resort bid

BBC News, 17th September 2019

Flamingo Land has formally withdrawn its planning application to build a £30m tourist resort on Loch Lomond.

The move comes after officials for the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority recommended its board reject the bid earlier this month.

More than 55,000 objections were lodged against the Lomond Banks development between April and May.

But the team behind the project have not ruled out submitting a fresh application at a later date.

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer, who led the campaign against the plans, tweeted: “We’ve won this battle but it’s not over.

“They will resubmit, in a transparent attempt to cancel the 57,000 objections lodged against them this time.”

Flamingo Land Ltd and Scottish Enterprise confirmed that they had informed the National Park Authority they collectively wished to withdraw the live planning application.

Andy Miller, director of 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 know the national park recognises that the majority of what we propose fits in with the LDP [local development plan].

“It is therefore surprising and disappointing that their recommendation report raises previously unidentified concerns and highlights the need for new additional information.”

A hotel, lodges and “glamping pods” formed part of the plan for the site at Balloch
He said the move would grant the team sufficient time to understand new concerns, provide additional information requested and consider the most appropriate course of action.

Mr Miller added: “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.”

A park authority spokeswoman said that a “significant amount of time and resource” went into assessing the application and the report which recommended refusal.

She said: “It is ultimately the applicants’ decision not to continue with this process.

“While land within this application site has been identified as suitable for tourism development, it is crucial that any new development protects the character of the existing landscape and the natural and built environment, while making a positive contribution to area as an international tourism destination.”

The final say on the development rested with the park authority – not West Dunbartonshire Council.