Following our recent public event at Loch Lomond Shores, we have compiled a list of responses to the questions we found were asked most frequently.
Why is this area of Loch Lomond allowed to be considered for development?
The Vision for how the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park (LLTNP) should change over the next 20 years, including the strategy needed to deliver the physical development along with the policy approach for key topics is clearly set out in the adopted Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Local Development Plan.
A key element of the Vision is Visitor Experience – ‘creating a high quality, authentic experience for visitors, with many opportunities to appreciate and enjoy the natural and cultural heritage within an internationally renowned landscape that compares to the best on offer around the world.’
Flamingo Land’s proposals at West Riverside and Woodbank House in Balloch supports this ‘visitor experience’, offering new and improved visitor facilities, accommodation and visitor infrastructure (including recreation and access proposals), bringing benefits to the local economy and local community, including proposals to retain the listed building of Woodbank House.
Are the proposals simply an intensive tourist development for a Flamingo Land theme park of roller-coasters, water rides and flumes within the National Park?
No. M&D’s in Lanark is a Theme Park. Alton Towers in Staffordshire is a Theme Park. Flamingo Land has a Theme Park in North Yorkshire. This Development will bare no resemblance to any of these resorts. It will be more similar in nature to a Centre Parcs.
Flamingo Land are excited by the prospect of creating a resort in the National Park that recognises the importance and sensitivity of the site. They see huge potential on the West Riverside and view this as a fantastic opportunity to create a family-oriented attraction that supports the sustainable tourism objectives of the National Park. Flamingo Land recognise the key sensitivities of developing within Scotland’s National Park.
Will the Flamingo Land proposals be ‘gated’ restricting public access?
No. Flamingo Land’s proposal is to provide freedom of access round the whole site and the Loch. Public access to the woodland areas along the Riverside and Drumkinnon Wood will continue to be unrestricted.
Will all of the activities and the indoor swimming pool on site only be for resort guests?
No. All the activities including the Pool will also be available for locals and the general public.
There is not a link to Balloch which was always the promise since Lomond Shores was built.
There will be a mono rail track and a golf buggy service available from the proposed new Station square development next to the current tourist information centre running to Lomond Shores. There will also be provision of better signage, landscaping, lighting and surface improvements to existing walkways, nature trails and Pier Road.
Will there be local employment opportunities?
Yes. There will be employment opportunities both directly and indirectly during construction and operation of the Flamingo Land proposal. Training and skills development with long term employment prospects will also be provided. Given the transport links many communities will benefit from the employment opportunities that the Flamingo Land proposal will offer.
What type of planning application will be submitted?
The forthcoming planning application will be a Planning Permission in Principle (PPiP) application. The PPiP planning application does not require the same level of detail as a Full Detailed planning application, and will therefore not include site layouts to scale, or details of any proposed buildings or structures. Should this application be granted planning permission in principle, further applications will be required in order to discharge the conditions attached to the planning permission in principle. A separate detailed application for an element of the proposal may also be considered.
Will an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) be required to support the planning application for its proposed development at Balloch?
Yes. A full EIA is required the scope of which has now been agreed and will address the following environmental matters: ecology; trees & woodland; noise & vibration; air quality; ground conditions & geology; water, hydrology & flood risk; landscape & visual; traffic & transport; archaeology & cultural heritage; and socio-economics, tourism, recreation and access. The Scoping Opinion is available to view on the Park’s planning portal.
What height is the proposed viewing tower?
Plans for a £30m leisure development on the banks of the Loch have been assessed on how they will affect the environment – and one consideration is how the view will look with a viewing tower of up to 100m.
Has the application already been agreed, so that it’s only the fine detail that needs to be sorted out and all that can be mitigated?
No. The pre-application stage of the planning process is a key stage to allow views of the public, community groups and other key stakeholders to be captured and subsequently shape and inform the final proposals.
What will happen next following the pre-application events?
Feedback from the public exhibitions is important and will be used to refine and improve the final design proposals. A Pre-Application Consultation Report (PAC Report) will be prepared detailing the consultation carried out, the feedback received and how the proposals have been developed to take account of the comments received. This report will accompany the planning application.
When will the planning application be submitted to the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park?
It is anticipated that the Major PPiP planning application (accompanied by an EIA) will be submitted to the Park by February 2018. The planning application will also be supported by a suite of technical reports.