The Flamingo has landed, claim workmen digging black hole in Balloch
Electricity cables danger alert and tree felled as mystery contractors move in, Jackie Baillie MSP and Cllr Jonathan McColl, the local councillor, who won’t comment to The Democrat
By Bill Heaney
Mystery surrounds the identity of contractors doing work on Loch Lomondside at all hours of the day and night.
Residents fed up and angry with the noise and disruption have complained bitterly to the authorities, but none of them wants to take responsibility.
Although it appears that – or at least it has been claimed by a resident – that the contractors are doing site preparation work for the controversial Flamingoland project at Balloch.
Planning permission for Flamingoland has not yet been granted by the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority and is currently still in the assessment stage.
Pamela Scott, who lives in Old Luss Road, has complained previously about noise and disruption at odd hours of the day, from 6am on occasion and 9pm on others.
She wrote yesterday to Jackie Baillie MSP: “They’re at it again, whatever next?
“Last night around 7.30pm workmen started excavation near my house at the watercourse which flows under Old Luss Road about 20 metres away.
“My neighbour who was walking their dog asked the workmen if they were there to work on the burn as some problems had been created by WDC recently at this point.
“They indicated they were not, but were looking for electricity cables and were working for the people who owned the Woodbank on land across the road.
“[These are the people behind] Flamingoland.”
Ms Scott added: “We thought it suspicious that this was going on at this time in the evening and it was noisy so the police were called.
“Scottish Power were also called, who over the phone could tell us there were no notifications of any work taking place in this area and would send somebody out to check.
“When they both arrived around 9.20pm the workmen had just gone.”
Ms Scott named the company she believed was responsible for carrying out excavating work, but there is no confirmation of this.
She added: “The Scottish power engineer who arrived expressed grave concern as according to his utility map these workmen had been excavating above a high pressure gas pipe line.
“He intimated no work should have taken place without a Scottish gas engineer being present and asked that we call Scottish gas and report the incident which we did.
“It really is becoming ridiculous what’s happening here, we now have workmen turning up here late in the evening, unannounced to any of the utility authorities, as it seems, to perform excavations which could endanger our lives.
“Can you please initiate a major investigation into this incident to find out who was responsible for these workmen and what authority they had to do the work, especially at this time of night.”
She asked the MSP: “Are WDC and LLTNP aware that this was happening? This is totally unacceptable. We need answers but no apologies this time. The book must be thrown at these people!”
Ms Scott alleged: “In the search to find the electricity cables, they have left the place in a mess.
“A tree was felled which is now blocking the watercourse and there is large hole in the ground with exposed high voltage electricity cables next to the John Muir Way footpath.
“There is a gap in the fence at the hole and there are no signs warning people to the danger of the hole or these exposed high voltage electricity cables.
“There are photos of the workmen in operation and the results of their activities if required.
“This is the fourth problem we have had to endure here recently and is totally unacceptable.”
Cllr Jonathan McColl, the leader of West Dunbartonshire Council’s SNP administration and SNP councillor for the area, refuses to comment to The Democrat.