Ross Priory – Hunter Foundation has permission to build a leadership and wedding venue.

By Bill Heaney

A millionaire Conservative councillor has expressed dismay at the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park’s decision to give planning permission to billionaire businessman Sir Tom Hunter to build a leadership learning school and wedding reception centre at Ross Priory on Loch Lomondside.

Cllr Sally Page, pictured right,  has written to a local newspaper challenging a  statement released by the Park Authority boasting its Green credentials and telling the public it intends to reduce its carbon footprint to net zero emissions.

“I would like to encourage you to look at their actions of the Park Authority, particularly the planning committee and [ask yourself] if the decisions they take put the environment first,” she asked.

Mrs Page added: “I think not. The ‘net zero’ of course will be beneficial to the environment may in the long term [and] certainly ticks the boxes for now.

“A full analysis should be undertaken – scrapping the current fleet of cars and rescue boat in favour of electric cars – how does that compare?

“The energy use, resources used to build new vehicles when we have perfectly serviceable ones [available now]?”

Cllr Page, who is one of only two Tories on the Council, writes: “The permission granted to build 2,017 square metres of building at at Ross Priory with treated sewage flowing into the Loch plus 100 people [working there] is not a decision that puts the environment first.

“There are plenty of empty buildings that could provide space for a leadership centre. Auchendennan [the former youth hostel near Duck Bay]  for one.

“The gold mine, churning its way through peat bogs to perhaps produce gold but for what? Not an essential element for our everyday lives.

“”This decision was not taken putting the environment first.

“The plan to build a huge visitor centre at Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve, encouraging visitors to get to a place which you can only get to by car.

“Nature study can be taught from existing sites, already established, such as Balloch Park, where public transport can bring people from all over.

“Please could I encourage you to think about whether or not the current actions of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park really match the glossy brochures they produce?”

  • Sir Thomas Blane Hunter is a Scottish businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. In April 2007, Hunter was reported in the Sunday Times Rich List as the first ever home-grown billionaire in Scotland, with an estimated wealth of £1.05 billion.

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