Flamingo Land submits outline planning application for £40m Balloch tourism project

FLAMINGO Land has submitted its outline planning submission for the build of a £40 million tourist destination in Balloch, after making ‘fundamental changes’ to its Lomond Banks plans.

The move follows almost a year of community liaison and consultation, which the developer said has led to a number of changes compared to the previous submission lodged in 2018.

Changes include a revised vision of the site adjacent to the pierhead, separate to the public slipway managed by the National Park, to be more in keeping with the natural landscape, and the complete removal of any development in the ancient woodland of Drumkinnon Wood.

Further ecological evaluations have also been undertaken to ensure a ‘considered approach’ to the development and protection of the surrounding environment.

Breaking away from its traditional portfolio of theme parks, the proposed new Lomond Banks development has been described as being centred around a new accommodation-led resort that will be devised to complement the local environment.

The Lomond Banks development team will work with planning consultants, Stantec, and project architects, Anderson, Bell + Christie, to deliver the project.

Lomond Banks also includes the retention of the A-Listed Woodbank House, which is on the ‘Buildings at Risk’ register. The conservation and redevelopment of these structures within the site will be subject to future applications for Detailed Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent (LBC).

The development has also made pledges regarding jobs, supporting local supply chain in the area as well as providing learning and training opportunities for visitors and staff alongside creating close links to local schools and colleges. 

Jim Paterson, development director for the Lomond Banks project, said, “After an extensive period of reflection, community liaison and enhanced ecological studies to make Lomond Banks the best it can be, I am delighted to be submitting our plans and taking forward a proposal which we believe is both robust and of benefit to the local community. We have listened to the issues raised throughout our consultation process, and the plans now include very significant amendments to ensure Lomond Banks will be in keeping with its environment and protect its treasured assets.

“Our environmental and commercial commitment to Balloch and West Riverside remains steadfast, and we want to complement what makes Loch Lomond so attractive to visitors. Our aim would be to invest and hire locally, as well as working with local businesses to maximise the benefits of the development for all.”

With the outline planning submission having been registered by the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, Lomond Banks will now seek Planning Permission in Principle, at this stage. If approved, the team would progress to work on plans for Detailed Planning Permission.

The proposed development comprises a tourism, leisure, and recreation-led mixed-use development, including:

  • Refurbished tourist information building
  • Up to 60-bedroom apart-hotel
  • Up to 32-bedspace budget hotel
  • Up to 127 self-catering lodges of various sizes
  • Reconstruction and refurbishment of Woodbank House to provide up to 15 self-catering apartments
  • Reconstruction and refurbishment of the attendant structures at Woodbank to provide up to six self-catering units
  • Leisure pool/water park/spa facility
  • Water sports hub
  • Water sports equipment storage building
  • Restaurants/café/retail areas
  • Craft brewery including pub
  • Visitor reception area and hub building
  • External activity areas including event/performance areas, children’s play areas, picnic and barbeque areas
  • Monorail
  • Staff service and welfare accommodation
  • Associated parking, landscaping, and infrastructure development works; and
    access from the surrounding road network including Ben Lomond Way and Pier Road.

The application will be determined by National Park Authority in due course.