Revised £40m plan for resort at Loch Lomond
Proposed civic square at Lomond Banks
Flamingo Land has revived plans to build a £40 million tourist destination at Loch Lomond after an earlier project was thrown out following objections from planning officials and more than 50,000 local people.
It has returned almost two years later with a revamped proposal which will be an accommodation-led resort, devised to “complement the local environment”.
The company hopes this will appease those who objected to the prospect of a theme park on their doorstep and in an area of outstanding beauty.
The new proposals for West Riverside and Woodbank House, adjacent to Loch Lomond Shores, have been identified for tourism development in the Local Development Plan.
The Lomond Banks development team will work with planning consultants, Stantec, and project architects, Anderson, Bell + Christie, to deliver the project. A scoping request was submitted on 1 June ahead of a formal planning application to The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
The intention of the developers is to create a “world-class waterfront tourist destination” which includes visitor accommodation and scenic walkways that are sympathetic to the local environment.
It will allow for public access throughout the site whilst securing the long-term future of the derelict historic listed Woodbank House, currently on the Buildings at Risk Register. The development will also provide learning and training opportunities for visitors and staff and will create close links to local schools and colleges.
Jim Paterson, development director for the Lomond Banks project, said: “We have listened to the issues raised around the original proposal and with further feedback will look to make some important, very significant, amendments to the plans to ensure Lomond Banks will be in keeping with its environment.
“We also want to reassure the local community that consultation is at the heart of our plans. Our intention here from the outset was never to build a theme park but to bring to the area a development that has the potential to become a world-class tourism destination that benefits the local community and economy.
“Our environmental and commercial commitment to Balloch and West Riverside remains strong and our proposed development comes at a time when economic investment and meaningful growth in the local tourism market is required.
“We want to complement what makes Loch Lomond so attractive to visitors, and our aim would be to invest locally, hire locally, and work with local businesses to maximise the benefits of the development for all.”
Adam Bell, of architects, Anderson, Bell + Christie, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the project to regenerate this allocated site in Balloch.
“We have listened to the public and the statutory bodies and will look to reflect these specific changes to the development, together with any new proposals that arise through the public consultation processes.
“Lomond Banks offers a real opportunity to bring jobs and visitors to this key location in the Vale of Leven and Loch Lomond, at the same time protecting the woodland and special environment for all to enjoy.”
The revised plans for West Riverside and Woodbank House will offer an opportunity for a unique leisure-based development that truly respects and complements the surrounding area and is in line with the long-standing vision for the site that has been held by the local authority for more than 30 years which has been articulated in the Local Development Plan and in the Balloch Charrette.
The new plans will include some key changes following objections raised by the community and the National Park Authority to the earlier application.
It aims to address concerns and further respect the sensitivities of the location and its natural beauty. These include, reviewing the massing of the proposed buildings at the pierhead area, removing the lodges from Drumkinnon Wood, and reworking the proposals within and around Woodbank House whilst protecting and complementing the amenities of the boat clubs and other local businesses.
The proposals include a variety of family accommodation, facilities for visitors and the local community including a craft brewery, leisure centre, restaurants and landscape upgrades to public footpaths, dog walking routes and greenspaces.
Locals and the Scottish public will have the opportunity to view the plans as part of the planning process. The application will be determined by National Park Authority.