£40m Loch Lomond tourism plans to be submitted at end of April

Lomond Banks community lead, Fiona Robertson

PLANS for the new £40 million tourist destination on the banks of Loch Lomond are set to be submitted at the end of April this year.

The planning application will comprise the proposed Balloch resort covering West Riverside and the Woodbank House Estate.

The team at Lomond Banks revealed it has firmed up its target date for submission to the National Park Authority to allow the results of ongoing biodiversity surveys to be incorporated into the designs being put forward.

Lomond Banks undertook a period of consultation with the local community as well as key businesses and stakeholders throughout 2021, which the organisation said has helped shape the plans, including the removal of any development in the ancient woodland of Drumkinnon Wood.

The developers have instructed more detailed ecological studies of the area to ensure important wildlife assets are incorporated into the designs from the outset. Included within this are surveys for birds, red squirrel and hibernating bats.

Lomond Banks added that surveys have already indicated summer roosting bats within areas of the site, and suitability for hibernation, so further studies were commissioned in line with national guidance to ensure the bats can be accommodated moving forward.

Applied Ecology Ltd has been carrying out survey work, which has identified opportunities for environmental education and interpretation as part of the proposals, as well as areas for biodiversity enhancement. AEL has highlighted the importance of the ancient woodland resource within Drumkinnon Wood, especially its carpets of native bluebells.

Jim Paterson, development director for Flamingo Land, the people behind Lomond Banks, said, “It is clear that if we are truly committed to creating a sustainable world-class resort that celebrates the wildlife and biodiversity of Loch Lomond, that we conduct further, more extensive studies to ensure these form and dictate key elements of our proposals and we are excited to progress plans that are forward-thinking to ensure the natural beauty of the area can be celebrated for many generations to come.”