Our formal objection to Flamingo Land plans at Loch Lomond

Ramblers Scotland has submitted a formal objection to Flamingo Land’s application to create a new holiday resort on the banks of Loch Lomond. 

The developer’s bid for planning permission in principle features a hotel, holiday lodges, a water park, monorail, adventure rides and a tree-top walkway at West Riverside in Balloch, within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

While we oppose this application, we acknowledge the long history of the efforts to develop this site and recognise that the need for investment in recreation and visitor accommodation has been identified in this area. There are aspects of the proposal that we support in principle. 

We are disappointed that the application goes against the Local Development Plan (LDP), published last year after consultation with local communities and others. For example, an area of ancient woodland which is not zoned for development in the LDP would instead feature more than 30 holiday lodges. The developers also propose building up to 20 private residences in another area zoned for ‘visitor experience’ in the LDP. 

Flamingo LandA dog walker enjoying the West Riverside site. 

We believe that the application: 

  • Fails to reflect the aims of the national park and respect the special qualities of the area
  • Is too large – making it inappropriate as a gateway to the national park
  • Impacts upon ancient woodland and the experience of recreational users, in particular due to the monorail and siting of lodges in areas currently used for informal recreation
  • Would result in many more vehicle journeys to an already congested area.

We also feel it is important that the boundary of the site remains permeable, so that the public and guests can continue to enjoy informal access to the woodland, loch shore and riverside.

Keep up to date with further stages of the application process here. At the time of writing, a total 781 public comments had been submitted, of which 760 opposed the development.

We have advised the national park authority and the developer that we are happy to meet to discuss the proposals further.

You can read our full letter of objection here.