Let’s stick to the Flamingo Land facts and cut out the rows and the rancour
By the Rev Ian Miller
The Flamingo Land development at Balloch will either go ahead or not. Whatever the decision it will not please everyone.
I suspect the decision will be made on planning grounds. The ground has been earmarked for tourism and leisure and the proposal seems to fall into that category.
Actually I can understand the concerns that have been raised by the opponents of the scheme.
What I can’t understand is the level of negativity expressed towards those whose views are not in complete accord with the protesters.
It has, at times, bordered on being libelous with questions raised about the honesty and integrity of decent and well-meaning members of our community with a long track record of community involvement.
They don’t get paid for what they do. It is often a thankless task but they do it because they are committed to trying to make where we live a better place.
Disagree with them, of course, but don’t question their motivation.
At the end of the day there are two sides to this debate. It all comes down to opinions. But it has been good that some facts have been established:
- it will not be a theme park.
- The ground had been advertised for some time with the stated intention that the land be developed for leisure and tourism.
- The developer met the criteria.
- Access to the area will not be restricted.
- The ground was no historic dear green place but a former industrial site.
Drumkinnon Bay, which used to be a quarry and industrial site.
Now to the opinions where there is understandable disagreement.
I believe it will be a boost to tourism and local businesses.
I believe that any company having been awarded a gold award from David Bellamy will give priority to environmental issues.
I believe that it will bring employment to the area.
I believe that the end result of what is planned will be more attractive to visitors and locals that what it is at present.
Those are my opinions. I might be right. I might be wrong. I have some concerns and reserve the right to express them when I see the detailed plans.
Right now, we are arguing about the development in principle.
In principle, I think it will be of benefit to Scotland and to our area.
We may disagree, but let’s do so decently and responsibly and without bitterness.