Lomond Banks launch talks with public about new proposals for Balloch

The previous protest meeting at Lomond Parish Church hall with (left to right) Cllr Jim Bollan, Jackie Baillie MSP; Nick Kempe, of Parkswatch Scotland; Rory MacLeod, chairman; Green MSP Ross Greer, and Conservative MSP Maurice Corry.

By Bill Heaney

A second round of consultations has been firmed up, allowing the community to further engage with the plans for Lomond Banks at Woodbank and West Riverside in Balloch, according to a media release from the company formerly known as Flamingoland.

The online portal will once again be open to the community from Monday 22nd November for two weeks showing the ongoing progress the application is making ahead of the planning submission in February 2022.

A face-to face event has also been arranged and will take place on Thursday 25th November from 2pm to 7pm at Lomond Church Hall in Balloch, but “walk ups” without registering are being discouraged.

Previous opposition to developments at Balloch were supported by Ross Greer, the Green Party MSP, pictured left, who issued a discouraging statement for the developers today.

He said: “Flamingoland have certainly upped their PR game from their disastrous first attempt, but badging their plans as ‘sustainable’ will not pull the wool over the community’s eyes.

“Thanks to the Greens, Scotland’s approach to planning is changing to give greater protections for places like Loch Lomond.

“The interests of communities and the local environment will no longer be a poor second place to those of companies seeking to profit from our world famous natural landscapes.”

A spokesperson for Lomond Banks sounded upbeat about their new plans though.

He said: “The team behind the proposed tourism development will be on-hand throughout the in-person event to talk through the plans with the wider community and gather further feedback on its latest proposals for the area.






The packed audience at a previous public meeting about Lomond Banks/Flamingoland’s plans. Top of page – the now jettisoned initial plan for Flamingoland.

“This forms part of the extended consultation period which started in September, designed to provide stakeholders, members of the local community and other interested parties with a number of opportunities to engage – with all opinions and thoughts welcomed by the Lomond Banks team – to help shape their plans ahead of its estimated February submission, with initial feedback from this segment of the to be reviewed on Friday 10th December.

“This second consultation will also cover updates on the plans following the first round of consultation and the feedback received from the community in September.”

Key focus areas which have been identified during this initial period are the Pierhead area, integration with the community of Balloch, an emphasis on fair work, education and training as well as traffic and transport, according to the spokesperson.

He added: “Throughout the extended consultation process, the Lomond Banks team hope to convey its overall vision for the sustainable £40m development, highlight its commitment to the community, local businesses and employability, whilst providing a platform for engagement and feedback.”

Jim Paterson, development director for the Lomond Banks project, said: “We are delighted to bring our second round of consultation to the Balloch community and, along with our face-to-face event, give people more opportunity to engage with our plans.

“The level of engagement and support from the local community during the first round was incredibly encouraging and very useful as we move our plans forward.

“Our vision is to create a sustainable world-class visitor experience here at Lomond Banks, one in which the local community and businesses of Balloch can be proud.  Central to this vision is our commitment to the local area.

“Even at this early stage, partnerships with local organisations, training and employment opportunities and local businesses are key.

“With hundreds of jobs and an investment of £40 million, the economic benefits of Lomond Banks are compelling, providing a real opportunity to give a boost to the Balloch and the wider Loch Lomond area.”

He added that people can sign up for the online and virtual consultation events on the Lomond Banks website, via http://www.lomondbanks.com/consultation  and updated plans can be accessed from the 22nd November for the community to view and comment on.”

Objectors to the plan, which was previously labelled Flamingoland, are likely to be thin on the ground since the developers are already placing obstacles in their way.

Whilst the face-to-face event is open for everyone to attend, those interested in attending are being asked to register their attendance via the website to ensure social distancing and safety measures can be considered. There will also be very limited walk-up places available on the day.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s SNP administration leader Cllr Jonathan McColl, who swithered publicly over the initial plan before coming out for it, refused to comment to The Democrat.

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