Scottish Enterprise should scrap exclusivity agreement with Flamingo Land and give residents a chance to bring the site into community ownership.
Nearly 60,000 people objected to Flamingo Land’s plans for the shores of Loch Lomond at Balloch. We forced them to withdraw their application- the most unpopular in Scottish history – but they’ll be back. Scottish Enterprise, the Government agency who own most of the land, still have an exclusive agreement to sell it to them. We’re asking Scottish Enterprise to end this exclusivity agreement, and instead give residents a chance to explore community ownership.
On 17 September, exactly one week before it was due to come before the National Park Board, Flamingo Land announced that they were withdrawing the most unpopular planning application in Scottish history. They wanted to put up to 125 woodland lodges, a water park, a hotel, woodland walkways and much more on the shores of Loch Lomond, at Balloch.
This was opposed by over 57,000 people, as well as West Dunbartonshire Council, the National Park’s own planning officers and organisations including The Woodland Trust. Reasons for opposition included the impact on protected wildlife, protected woodland and on the world-famous landscape, as well as transport congestion and loss of public land.
But the Exclusivity Agreement between the government agency who own much of the land – Scottish Enterprise – and Flamingo Land still holds. This means that nearly 50 acres of land- most of the proposed development site- will be automatically passed on to Flamingo Land should they get planning permission before the December 2020. This agreement prevents anyone else – including local groups proposing a community buyout – from lodging alternative applications for the land.
We need to act now to prevent the land being sold off to a corporation who will take profits out of the community. This means demanding that Scottish Enterprise cancel the exclusivity agreement and instead give residents a chance to explore community or continued public ownership.