Flamingo Land to lodge renewed plans for £40million Loch Lomond resort in April


New plans for a £40million tourist resort on the banks of Loch Lomond will now be formally lodged at the end of April.

Flamingo Land, which is behind proposals for the Lomond Banks development, has confirmed the next stage of its second bid to build a resort at West Riverside and Woodbank House.

It follows two rounds of public consultation with the local community, businesses and stakeholders, which the project team says have shaped the plans.

Early proposals for the West Riverside site would see a monorail connecting it to Balloch Station Square, an indoor water park, lodges, craft brewery and visitor centre, and an aparthotel.

The Lomond Banks team told last year that they were planning to submit their bid to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park this month but now say they will be the end of April to allow the results of ongoing biodiversity surveys to be incorporated into the designs .

The team say they are undertaking extensive surveys of the area, including more detailed ecological studies “to ensure important wildlife assets across Woodbank and West Riverside are incorporated into the designs from the outset, and not considered as a bolt-on”.

Included within this are surveys for birds, including for the first time a study of wintering birds on Loch Lomond and the River Leven, red squirrel and hibernating bats, all of which will conclude at the end of February.

Surveys have already indicated summer roosting bats within areas of the site, and suitability for hibernation, so further studies were commissioned in line with national guidance to ensure the bats can be accommodated.

The West Riverside area of ​​Balloch where the development could be built.

Following these, assessments will be made and designs finalized ahead of submission in April.

Jim Paterson, development director for Flamingo Land, said: “It is clear that if we are truly committed to creating a sustainable world-class resort that celebrates the wildlife and biodiversity of Loch Lomond, that we conduct further, more extensive studies to ensure these form and dictate key elements of our proposals and we are excited to progress plans that are forward-thinking to ensure the natural beauty of the area can be celebrated for many generations to come.”

Applied Ecology Ltd (AEL) has been carrying out the survey work since April 2021 and Flamingo Land says their findings have identified opportunities for environmental education and enhancement as part of the proposals, as well as areas for biodiversity. The firm states that in particular, AEL has highlighted the importance of the ancient woodland resource within Drumkinnon Wood, especially its carpets of native bluebells.

The proposed plans have been adjusted to reflect these most recent survey results.

The initial plans lodged by Flamingo Land were withdrawn in 2019

Flamingo Land previously said their proposals for the site involve some “substantial changes” since withdrawing original plans in 2019.

At a virtual public consultation event last year, a project manager on the Lomond Banks development team admitted they didn’t get the plans right the last time around.

Their initial proposals attracted more than 50,000 objections, with West Dunbartonshire Council also objecting at the time.

Green MSP Ross Greer, who led a petition then, previously pledged to continue to oppose plans for the site, while Damon Scott, chief executive of Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, has welcomed the firm’s steps to engage with communities.

Further information and FAQs on Lomond Banks can also be found at www.lomondbanks.com/consultation




www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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