Developers seek approval for Loch Lomond park plans

The proposed development on the banks of Loch Lomond has proved controversial. Picture: Allan Milligan/TSPL
The proposed development on the banks of Loch Lomond has proved controversial. Picture: Allan Milligan/TSPL
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A controversial proposal to build a £30 million leisure resort on the banks of Loch Lomond is expected to be submitted for national park authority approval by the end of the month.

Flamingo Land Ltd hopes to open an indoor water park, spa and 60-bed hotel at West Riverside, close to the Lomond Shores shopping mall in Balloch, West Dunbartonshire.

The latest plans are expected to include a high level woodland walkway and a children’s area which developers say “will focus on wildlife, conservation and on supporting biodiversity for children aged three to nine.”

But a proposal to build a 100m-tall viewing tower at Drumkinnon Wood has been scrapped.

The developers claimed they will not build a replica of their existing Flamingo Land theme park in Yorkshire on the 49 acre site and will instead create an attraction in keeping with the area’s natural beauty.

“We are in the midst of preparing our planning permission in principle application which we hope to submit to the Loch Lomond Trossachs National Park by the end of the month,” Flamingo Land sales director Andy Miller told local press.

Mr Miller added the company was committed to paying the Scottish living wage to future staff.

He said: “All going well with our proposals we will be signing up to the Scottish living wage. There has been a number of comments made with regard zero hour contracts, however as a business we do not employ anyone on a zero hour contracts.”

Flamingo Land was announced as the preferred bidder for the site in 2016 by Scottish Enterprise (SE). But the move divided local residents, with two separate online petitions against the development attracting around 30,000 signatures.

Critics said the leisure park would be out of keeping with the area.

The backlash prompted SE to defend its decision two years ago.

Derek McCrindle of SE said in 2016 the development would “clearly recognise the key sensitivities of developing within Scotland’s national park”.

He added the developer’s strong track record in creating visitor attractions made them an ideal partner.