THE team behind a proposed new tourist development on the banks of Loch Lomond has said it remains ‘encouraged’ by community support as well-known local figures voiced their support for the Balloch plans.
The Lomond Banks team said that ‘despite a campaign based on various unfounded claims by outside organisations against the proposal’, local businesses, including the Maid of the Loch, have spoken up on the proposed development, which is tipped to bring over £40 million pounds of investment to the area with the creation of an accommodation-led resort in West Dunbartonshire.
Representing the Maid of the Loch, Iain Robertson, chairman of the charity, confirmed the group was keen to see the proposals come to fruition as it would benefit the vision for Loch Lomond’s only paddle steamer, and bring a ‘lasting benefit’ to the economy and community.
Iain said, “The board of trustees have met, and we believe that this new application answers many of the questions that were raised the last time this project looked to get off the ground. As a board we have considered it carefully and believe that the Lomond Banks’ concept fits both with the local area and what the Maid of the Loch is trying to achieve.
“In an area that has lost so many jobs over the years, it is important that local people benefit from a successful development that complements the wider area and we believe that the proposed Lomond Banks plans will do just that. We hope that if successful, the developers will work with both us and other local businesses in making Balloch a place that people want to visit, stay and spend money in.”
Local minister Reverend Ian Miller has also backed the proposed Lomond Banks plans and has urged those still unsure about the development to seek out the submitted plans and form their own opinions.
He said, “This area has been crying out for inward investment for too long and, as a member of the community council, I know we are desperate for this to happen. The plans proposed by Flamingo Land have been dogged by falsehoods and lies throughout the process, both in 2018 and now, including the misinformation that it would be a theme park. Lomond Banks was never going to be a theme park back in 2018 and again it certainly isn’t now.
“All I ask of my fellow neighbours and those in the wider area, is to seek out the plans, ask questions of the developers and make up your own mind. For me, I do believe that Lomond Banks will be both eco-friendly and complement the local area, providing a development that we can all be proud of for generations to come.”
Jim Paterson, development director for the project, commented, “We believe our £40 million investment in Balloch will not only create a world class, eco-tourism destination, but that it will bring jobs to the area, boost the local economy and provide a strong and sustainable development that will help both regenerate and support West Dunbartonshire in the future.
“Having facilitated extensive public consultations prior to submission, we have listened carefully to a range of opinions, including local people, businesses and other stakeholders, and have reflected these in our submission. Throughout the process we have reiterated our commitment to working closely with businesses to ensure that the local area will benefit from the development throughout and we believe that Lomond Banks will create something that is fitting for the area and is sympathetic to its important location at the gateway of Loch Lomond.”