Nearly 3,000 people have signed a petition protesting plans by a theme park operator to build a holiday resort on the shores of Loch Lomond.
Earlier this week, Flamingo Land Ltd was named preferred developer of a 49-acre site at West Riverside in Balloch.
The company, which runs a theme park in North Yorkshire, has drawn up plans including restaurants, a boutique hotel and other “high-quality, family-based attractions.”
But an online petition to the Scottish Government, which has gathered 2, 931 signatures, argues: “Loch Lomonds and the Trossachs are a National Park. They are not a commercially themed area.
“It is a place of natural beauty of which would be forever reduced if developments like this one get the go ahead. We must stand up to this as a strong voice against the commercialisation of a national gem for future generations.”
One protestor, Audrey L, wrote: “These plans are preposterous. Our National Parks are few and far between as it is. There should be much greater protection for the Highlands of Scotland in particular. Loch Lomond is famous for its wild, rugged beauty and it’s wildlife and it’s wildlife. It should never be spoilt by building any sort of theme park here. The “theme” is entirely natural and we MUST preserve that.”
Earlier this week, Flamingo Land’s chief executive, Gordon Gibb, said its plans would fit in well at Loch Lomond.
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He said: “Being in the beautiful surroundings of the national park, the activities will be swimming and outdoor adrenaline pursuits rather than the rollercoasters and rides and attractions that we have become famous for at Flamingo Land.
“We are excited by the prospect of creating a resort in the national park that recognises the importance and sensitivity of the site,” he added.