Join me for tour of the Three Sacred Spaces, says Bruce

By Bruce Biddulph,  of Alexandria

Swans on the River Leven

Swans swim from the River Leven into peaceful Drumkinnon Bay at Balloch.

Picture by Bill Heaney

On Saturday morning, at 11am, join me and others as we take a tour of what I like to term the Three Sacred Spaces….the Riverbank, the Woods and the Bay. Let us be clear here, very clear. My objections to the sale are based on the loss of these – I do not object to sensitive and sustainable development. Our area NEEDS investment and the entire quarter could do with a bit of cash injection. However, I and many others object strongly to the wholesale sell off, for it will mean that ancient woodland, the rights of the riverbank and a bay that has been used by families and visitors freely for generations, becoming the property of a developer.

The bay is threatened as the plans are to extinguish it completely by using it as an open air swimming pool in front of an enormous ‘apartment’ hotel.

The riverbank is threatened as the edge of it will be populated by self catering lodges with access ‘permitted’ to only the entry points of the mooring pontoons. This is a thoroughly bad case of appropriation of an ancient right.

The woods are to be developed with more lodges and treetop walkways. Yet as they stand they are a haven of peace and tranquility.

These three areas, once ‘developed’ will lose their only means of protection – that they are NOT developed. Once any work takes place, and of course ownership is completed too, then precedence means that in the future, they can be completely built over and commercialised.

The astonishing thing is, these very sensitive areas should even be considered at all as ripe for development, when in fact, they should have been completely excluded from any sale whatsoever.

But sadly, it is all about money. And having access to a riverbank and the finest view of Loch Lomond at ground level. And it is about setting precedence so that the entire area can be cleared in the future. And we know now that housing is a top priority, as already the plans at Woodbank have now been quietly revealed as housing developments only.

This is the thin end of a wedge. And we would be very childish to think otherwise.

To see for yourself, meet at the forecourt of Old Balloch Station (across the road from the new Balloch Station) in front of the Tourist Information building, at 11am and we will proceed to tour and see for our ourselves just what is precisely at stake.

After the tour, we will have a discussion about what best to do next. I will take this opportunity to film your objections and thoughts as we go along the riverbank, through the woods (they are filled with bluebells just now!) and survey the bay.

Please do come along, it promises to be a very hot and sunny day – you will see the The Sacred Three at their best, and you will fully understand why they are special, and crucial, to us, and to the developers.

Time: 11am
Day: Saturday 26th May 2018
Place: Old Balloch Station

* Bring soft drinks and some snacks, we will have a picnic together as we discuss our findings.


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