SNP MINISTER APPROVES SIR TOM’S LOCH LOMOND PLANS DESPITE LOCAL OPPOSITION

By Lucy Ashton

A Tory councillor is continuing to battle against approved plans for a leadership centre on the banks of Loch Lomond – over fears about the impact on the environment.

Cllr Sally Page, who represents Balloch and Loch Lomondside on West Dunbartonshire Council, hit out after the Scottish Government rejected her calls for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be carried out on the Hunter Foundation development near Ross Priory in Gartocharn.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park gave the facility, led by philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter, approval in December last year.

The Foundation say the centre will be a “globally significant facility”, support the future of the Strathclyde University owned Ross Priory venue and boost tourism.

Ross Priory on Loch Lomondside, the wedding centre and an impression of the centre itself.

The plans attracted 43 objections, with concerns over sewage discharges into the loch, harm to wildlife and protected species, harm to views, insufficient parking, as well as the building being of inappropriate design to its surroundings.

Following a screening process, the Foundation did not require to lodge an EIA, which are sometimes required to determine the effects of a development on its surroundings.

Sally Page has since contacted the Scottish Government asking ministers to make an EIA a requirement.

She believes the decision to approve was based on missing information which would have been covered in an EIA.

Mrs Page said: “I wrote in detail to the minister for planning at the Scottish Government, Kevin Stewart MSP, to request an EIA for this application; in failing to answer some of the more salient points I had made, the minister’s case worker concluded no EIA was necessary.”

Sir Tom Hunter and Councillor Sally Page.

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