Update on West Riverside and Woodbank House planning application

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A planning application for a major development at West Riverside and Woodbank House, Balloch, was registered as valid by Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park Authority on 21st May 2018.

Current status: May 2019

Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park Authority statement: This application is currently in the planning assessment phase. However this process was paused in August 2018 as we had been waiting to receive further information requested from the applicant to allow us to conclude our assessment. Representations have continued to be received and recorded.

We have now received the information requested from the applicant. While considering the request for the additional information the National Park Authority needed, the applicants have also amended elements of their original proposals. This is not a new application. The application description has been updated, however the new information forms part of the original application. The main changes to the proposal are summarised below:

  • Convert and extend Woodbank House to form 15 residential flats;
  • Reduce the number of proposed houses within the grounds of Woodbank House from 20 to 6;
  • Increase the number of proposed lodges/bothies within the grounds of Woodbank House from 28 to 50;
  • Change the use of the proposed boathouse on the promontory at Drumkinnon from self-catering to storage/water based recreation;
  • Changes to the extent of development at the Pierhead.

We are now in the process of re-consultation with the relevant statutory consultees and anyone who has already submitted a representation to the application has been informed.

Please note that all representations already received will continue to be considered as part of the planning assessment. However there’s now a further opportunity to comment on the proposal in light of the new information.

The planning application including the new information can be viewed on our e-planning portal using reference 2018/0133/PPP.

Please note that the recent plans/documents have been submitted over a number of weeks, however for ease of reference and to ensure it is clear to which documents relate to the amended proposal, we have dated all new plans/documents 5th April 2019.

All responses and comments will be taken into account in the consideration of the application.

An application of this scale takes a significant amount of time to assess and determine and we are not currently in a position to advise of a determination date.

Once all the representations and information from the applicant has been fully considered, the planning case officer will make a recommendation to our Board members to either approve or refuse the application. The Authority’s Board or Planning and Access Committee (made up by members of our Board) will then make a decision on the application at a meeting in public. We will publicise the date of this meeting once it is confirmed.

If you have submitted comments on the application then you will be notified in advance of the meeting so that you can make arrangements to come along. At this time you can request to speak at the meeting – provided you have formally commented on the application. Where there are a large number of speakers who are raising the same issues, it is at our discretion to ask one person to speak on behalf of a group rather than allowing each individual to address the Board Members individually.

What’s included in the Planning Application

The application submitted is for Planning Permission in Principle. This means that the applicants are seeking agreement “in principle” that the proposed development is acceptable. Full detailed drawings are not required with this type of application however the National Park can request additional information if it thinks it is necessary to determine the application. If the Planning Permission in Principle application is approved, the applicant will then have to submit further application(s) for detailed aspects of the proposal such as the siting and design of buildings.

The current application includes the following:

  • Holiday Lodge Accommodation
  • A Hotel
  • Bunkhouse Accommodation
  • Housing
  • Leisure and Recreational Facilities (including swimming pool, water park, forest adventure rides and tree-top walkway);
  • Education and Visitor Interpretation Facilities
  • Hot Food Café/Restaurant Use
  • Brewery
  • Transport Infrastructure (including mono-rail)
  • New Footpaths and Cycleway
  • Public Realm Enhancements
  • Site Development Infrastructure (including Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), car parking and access)
  • Conversion and extension of Woodbank House to flats and conversion of existing outbuildings to self-catering accommodation
  • Boathouse for storage/water based recreation.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been submitted with the application. This includes an Environmental Statement (ES) and an ES addendum that compiles detailed information about the likely significant environmental effects of the development.

How to view the plans

You can view all of the application documents, including the Environmental Statement and ES addendum, on the e-planning portal using reference 2018/0133/PPP. The non-technical summary of the EIA explains and presents the proposal in an easy to understand way. You can also view hard copies of the application documents in our head office on Carrochan Road, Balloch. You do not need to make an appointment.

What happens now

Due to its scale, this planning application is classed as a ‘major development’. Major developments follow a different planning process to smaller planning applications. You can find a step-by-step overview of this process in our ‘Major developments explained’ blog. This application is currently at Step 3 in the process.

Having your say

You are welcome to make a comment on the application, either for or against the proposals.  The statutory deadline for making comments is 21st May 2019.

However, the consultation period will remain open, and public comments can continue to be submitted until the Planning Officer makes a recommendation on the proposal.

If you want your views to be taken into consideration during the decision-making process, it is important to make comments to us directly, stating your full name and address.

Please note that if you have made a representation prior to the submission of the new information from the applicant, your comments will still be considered however there’s now a further opportunity to comment on the proposal.

There are three ways to make comments:

  • Comment via our e-planning portal using the ‘Submit Comments’ tab
  • Email us on planning@lochlomond-trossachs.org or
  • Write a letter and send it to our National Park Headquarters. Please include an e-mail address if you have one. Unless we hear from you to the contrary, all further communication will be electronic as this will help us to reduce our environmental impact.

The author of a representation is solely responsible for its content and accuracy. Please note that any libellous, defamatory, or offensive representations will not be taken into account when applications are being considered and will be discarded.

Further advice on how to comment on a planning application is contained within our “How do I view and comment on applications” blog.

Once your comments have been viewed by the Planning Officer they will then be published on our e-planning portal. Your comments will be published, along with your name and address, and will be available for inspection and to be copied by any interested party.

We anticipate a high level of interest about the application and unfortunately it will be unlikely we will be able  to respond individually in writing to specific questions during the consultation period but all comments will be taken into account as part of the decision making process.

You can find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions here. 

Further information about the application can also be found here.

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