An application to create a £30m resort on the banks of Loch Lomond has been withdrawn after new concerns were raised by national park planning officers.
The decision comes after the officers’ report highlighted new concerns regarding the scale of proposals for the Pierhead and Drumkinnon Woods areas.
Flamingo Land, which operates a theme park in North Yorkshire, was selected as preferred developer for the 44-acre site in West Dunbartonshire, and acquired the neighbouring derelict 12-acre former Woodbank hotel site.
The development was named Lomond Banks and plans were revealed for an ambitious tourism and leisure-led mixed use development including an aparthotel, hostel and lodges; an indoor swimming pool and water park; restaurants and craft brewery; tree top walkway and monorail.
However, local MSP Ross Greer started an online petition which has gained 57,000 signatures and the application itself has 1,100 objections primarily relating to environmental and transport concerns and opposition to the perception of a ‘theme park’.
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 (local development plans). 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decisions based on hard evidence and fact therefore it is only right that the current planning application be withdrawn to allow sufficient time for all parties to consider additional new information.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.”