Flamingo Land development would bring traffic chaos to Loch Lomonside
Politicians united in opposition to the Flamingo Land development at Drumkinnon Bay on Loch Lomondside.
By Lucy Ashton
Objections against the Flamingo Land plan to build a leisure complex in Balloch were pouring in at pace this week.
The SNP, via MP Martin Docherty Hughes and council leader Jonathan McColl; the Conservatives via Balloch councillor Sally Page, and the Green Party via Ross Greer MSP, have all come out against the whole plan or parts of it.
Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says she has received a number of objections and has urged people to write to the Loch Lomond National Park Authority’s planning department at Balloch.
Councillor Jim Bollan says it’s time the MSP made it “absolutely clear” whether she is for or against the Flamingo Land planning application in principle.
People are worried about the future of wildlife in the area, including bats and squirrels, and about the destruction of trees which proliferate in the Drumkinnon Bay area.
They are also concerned about dredging which has already taken place in the bay which is (was) a popular spot for children swimming during the summer holidays.
Residents of Balloch are deeply concerned about the impact of traffic on Ben Lomond Way – “because creating this access point here will not only destroy part of the established ancient woodland, which formed part of Drumkinnon Wood, but will also spoil the lovely tree lined vista on Ben Lomond Way, which is the main route into Lomond Shores.
“This, in association with the proposed Visitor Registration area located on the opposite side of the road will cause traffic chaos, congestion and a public safety risk to all pedestrians and road users.”
Balloch residents want a traffic survey done by the developers, but Council leader Jonathan McColl doesn’t because he says it will cost an estimated £100,000 which he doesn’t believe is worth the time or the money.
It was noted that during an earlier period of traffic and pedestrian monitoring, the monitoring system was removed during periods of Loch Lomond Shore Events, and therefore a fair and representative view of traffic and footfall volume would have been unobtainable. An estimated daily usage of Ben Lomond Way is based on typical summer traffic:
- Bus tours – 20
- Delivery vehicles – 20
- Boats and trailers – 75
- Visitors, which include Lomond Shores, Maid of the Loch, Sea Life Centre, Experience and Treezone customers – 500
From these figures, there are a total 615 access and therefore 615 egresses which totals 1230 per day 123/hour based on 10-hour day. It is estimated that there will be a 250 per cent increase on current levels.
Ben Lomond Way is already congested with Loch Lomond Shores traffic. The introduction of a second access/egress point, to serve the proposed development will create an increased safety issue for vehicular traffic and pedestrians.
Vehicular traffic will be confronted with traffic trying to cross the flow of traffic when entering/exiting from the two access points, causing interruption to the traffic flow and the build-up of long queues.
Similar problems are being experienced locally where customers queuing for McDonald’s drive through and parking are blocking the road for passing traffic.
There was a refusal to the request from residents of Old Luss Road by the LLTNP regarding the planning application for the Queen of the Loch’s 27 bed hotel and diner to have the entrance/egress to this site on Ben Lomond Way. This no doubt set a precedent by LLTNP for no additional entrance/exit on this road.
The residents are additionally against:
- Destruction of Drumkinnon ancient woodland
- Possible disturbance of bat roosts and possible foraging habitat
- Increase in noise and air pollution for adjacent residents
Balloch resident Kenny Gibson said: “The very least the Council can do is to undertake a survey to measure the impact of any increase in traffic this development would bring to Balloch.”
- STOP PRESS: On Friday, Mr Gibson added: “In half an hour today I got three companies to quote me the cost for traffic surveys [which was] around about £3k for a week at the Balloch road roundabout 7 to 7 using cameras. Jonathan McColl stated at a public meeting he was advised that the cost for traffic surveys was six figures. The advice Jonathan was given on costs means I could get the roundabout surveyed for 33 weeks for that money. Poor Jonathan he’s too honest??? There’s an email going out to everyone. I’m not finished [with asking for this survey] yet.”