Flamingo Land submits new Loch Lomond resort plans

Plans to build a £40 million Flamingo Land destination in Scotland have taken a major step forward three years after an initial proposal was withdrawn following a public backlash including thousands of objections.

Flamingo Land withdrew its "Lomond Banks" project at Balloch on the banks of Loch Lomond in 2019, but has now revised its plan after "a period of reflection, community liaison and enhanced ecological studies".

A planning application for "a major development" was registered with Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park on Thursday [MAY 26].

The plans for a "mixed-use tourism and leisure development" span around 18.9ha of land north of Balloch -- at the southern tip of Loch Lomond.

Artist's impression of part of the planned Lomond Banks development Pic: Lomond Banks

Said to represent a break away from its traditional portfolio of theme parks, the new accommodation-led resort would include a refurbished tourist information building, up to 60-bedroom apart-hotel and 32-bed budget hotel as well as up to 127 self-catering holiday lodges.

It could also see the restoration and redevelopment of Grade A Listed Woodbank House and attendant listed structures for up to 21 self-catering holiday apartments.

Other proposals include a leisure pool, waterpark, spa, restaurants, cafe, retail areas, monorail and a craft brewery including a pub with other areas for events and performances, play, picnics and barbecues.

Following community consultations, amendments to the previous submission lodged in 2018 include a new 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.

The revised plans for the site at Balloch include hotels, lodges, water park and craft brewery Pic: Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park

Another fundamental change sees the removal of any development in the ancient woodland of Drumkinnon Wood, amid extensive ecological evaluations to ensure the protection of the surrounding environment.

The development has also made pledges regarding employment and supporting local supply chains as well as providing learning and training opportunities for visitors and staff and creating links to local schools and colleges.

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

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."

The application submitted is for Planning Permission in Principle, seeking agreement "in principle" that the proposed development is acceptable. If approved, the applicant will then have to submit a further application for detailed aspects of the proposal such as the siting and design of buildings before development commences.

The application will be determined by National Park Authority.