Developers claim they are ‘encouraged by community support’
The team behind Lomond Banks, better known as Flamingoland, the proposed new tourist development on the banks of Loch Lomond, have said they are encouraged by community support – as well-known figures within the local area voice their support for their plans within Balloch.
Despite a campaign based on various ‘unfounded’ claims by outside organisations against the proposal, local businesses, including the heavily subsidised Maid of the Loch, which The Democrat has suggested should be towed out into the middle of the loch and scuttled before any more public money is wasted, have spoken up on the proposed development.
They claim their plan would bring over £40 million pounds of investment to the local area – with the creation of a sustainable accommodation-led resort in West Dunbartonshire.
Representing the Maid of the Loch, Iain Robertson, right, SNP veteran politician and chairman of the charity, confirmed that the group were keen to see the proposals come to fruition as it would not only benefit their vision for Loch Lomond’s paddle steamer, but would bring a lasting benefit to both the economy and community.
Speaking on Lomond Banks’ plans, Iain said: “The board of trustees have met, and we believe that this new application answers many of the questions that were raised the last time this project looked to get off the ground. As a board we have considered it carefully and believe that the Lomond Banks’ concept fits both with the local area and what the Maid of the Loch is trying to achieve.
“In an area that has lost so many jobs over the years, it is important that local people benefit from a successful development that complements the wider area and we believe that the proposed Lomond Banks plans will do just that.
“We hope that if successful, the developers will work with both us and other local businesses in making Balloch a place that people want to visit, stay and spend money in.”
Alongside the Maid of the Loch, local minister the Rev Ian Miller has also backed the proposed Lomond Banks plans and is calling for those still unsure about the development to seek out the submitted plans and form their own opinions.
Mr Miller, left, who has served the community of West Dunbartonshire for 47 years, said: “This area has been crying out for inward investment for too long and, as a member of the community council, I know we are desperate for this to happen.
“The plans proposed by Flamingo Land have been dogged by falsehoods and lies throughout the process, both in 2018 and now, including the misinformation that it would be a theme park. Lomond Banks was never going to be a theme park back in 2018 and again it certainly isn’t now.
“All I ask of my fellow neighbours and those in the wider area, is to seek out the plans, ask questions of the developers and make up your own mind. For me, I do believe that Lomond Banks will be both eco-friendly and complement the local area, providing a development that we can all be proud of for generations to come.”
A press release from Jim Paterson, development director for the project, was keen to provide these commitments. pushing the Flamingoland project, states: “With calls from the business community and local stakeholders for Lomond Banks to help create jobs, support training, development and the areas supply chain Jim Paterson, development director for the project, was keen to provide these commitments.
“We believe our £40 million investment in Balloch will not only create a world class, eco-tourism destination, but that it will bring jobs to the area, boost the local economy and provide a strong and sustainable development that will help both regenerate and support West Dunbartonshire in the future.
“Having facilitated extensive public consultations prior to submission, we have listened carefully to a range of opinions, including local people, businesses and other stakeholders, and have reflected these in our submission.
“Throughout the process we have reiterated our commitment to working closely with businesses to ensure that the local area will benefit from the development throughout and we believe that Lomond Banks will create something that is fitting for the area and is sympathetic to its important location at the gateway of Loch Lomond.”