Has Flamingo Land dropped its plan for Loch Lomondside?

Drumkinnon 22

Dear Editor,

We are all rushing towards Christmas, a lot on our minds to do. Perhaps this is the time when Flamingo Land and The Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park will try to move the goalposts on the planning application for the Balloch site?

See the enclosed letter (herewith) from the Chairman of Balloch and Haldane Community Council, Mr Murdoch Cameron.

This was a reply to Mr Sid Perrie, after he submitted a petition for an extraordinary meeting to be called by B&HCC, in order that locals could discuss the ongoing issues around the Flamingo Land proposal.

Ignoring the fact that B&HCC have again refused to engage the public in a meeting, what is written in this reply makes ominous reading. I will endeavour to explain.

The original planning application submitted to LL&TTNP was for ONE development only, this encompassed the proposals for a hotel, edges, monorail etc.

This is what the LL&TTNP planning committee would review and submit their ultimate conclusions on. Referring to the enclosed letter, LL&TTNP have now requested Flamingo Land for ‘further information’ regarding their planning application.

Note how in Mr Cameron’s letter, he refers to further consultation(s) and plans.

The clue here is the use of the plural when referring to ‘consultation and plan’

LL&TTNP have had an unprecedented number of objections to the FL proposal.  More than 30,000 individuals have petitioned against FL building in the Balloch area.  With this volume of opposition, LL&TTNP could not be seen to ignore the objectors.

But there is another way this proposal could be pushed through the planning committee, effectively nullifying the thousands of objections that have been submitted.

Could it be, that the consultations between LL&TTNP and FL, have concluded that with such overwhelming objections to the SINGLE planning application that was initially submitted by FL, it could fall at the first hurdle?

Then, maybe an alternative plan is required to be drawn up by both parties.

Perhaps this is what Mr Cameron refers to in his letter when he writes about ‘further information’ and ‘further consultations on the revised plans’?

Could it be, with so many objections to the FL proposal, the planning committee at LL&TTNP have advised FL to revise their plan(s) in order to bypass the objectors and smooth the way for the proposal to go through planning unhindered?

Could we now see, rather than one submission by FL, the application for planning being broken up into several entities?

Perhaps a single application for the proposed hotel? A single application for the lodges, monorail, housing development and so on?

With multiple applications for planning permission, it makes it easier for LL&TTNP to pass each application, but crucially, for objections to be lodged it makes the process much harder when several applications have to be considered and objections submitted against every part of these applications.

With 30,000 plus objections to a single application, how many would be required to overturn a submission for planning by FL consisting of several individual applications?

Perhaps LL&TTNP are frightened of a ‘Community Buyout’ of the Drumkinnon site?

This can only happen if the FL submission is rejected.

Could we all be watching LL&TTNP, rather than being completely objective in their role, perhaps favouring the FL proposal and being sympathetic to considering multiple applications from FL rather than having to deal with the fallout from thousands of objections against the existing single application?

Now is the time for LL&TTNP to be upfront and completely transparent with the public.

What is the further information they now require? Who are the further consultations to be held with?

What do the revised plans consist of, and why, at this time, do they need to be revised?

Gerry Edwardson,  Balloch

letter from Haldane CC

The letter from Balloch and Haldane Community Council.

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