Developers behind a proposed £30million tourist destination on the banks of Loch Lomond say investment into the natural environment will be a key element of their plans.
The vision for the development, which will be called Lomond Banks, is to transform Balloch into the true gateway to Loch Lomond. Plans include:
- A variety of family accommodation facilities, including a 60-bedroom apart-hotel, 32-bedroom budget accommodation, 131 self-catering units, 6 private houses and 15 apartments
- Facilities for visitors and the local community including a craft brewery, boat house, leisure centre and restaurants
- Landscape upgrades to public footpaths, dog walking routes and greenspaces
And with huge interest in Lomond Banks, developers are keen to inform the public on the benefits set to be unlocked should planning permission be granted.
According to Andy Miller, who is director of Lomond Banks, one of the key misconceptions has been around the potential impact on the natural environment.
He said: “Loch Lomond is a national treasure and our plans seek to enhance the natural beauty of the area while attracting more people to the benefit of the local economy. Our proposals will improve biodiversity through the creation of new habitat and strengthening old habitat.
“We have put forward a woodland development management plan so that existing woodland is properly managed and wherever possible improved, improving the natural environment both for wildlife and future generations to enjoy.”
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) states that at the time of the report, there were some signs of red squirrel and pine marten in the wider Loch Lomond landscape, however there was no evidence of red squirrel, badger or pine marten within the site boundary.
The EIA goes on saying that while woodland and grassland present on the site offers suitable habitat for pine marten and badgers, the volume of visitors, dog walkers and general human presence in the locale has reduced the site’s suitability for these animals.
Two otter and water vole surveys were conducted along the banks of all watercourses within the site boundary, plus a buffer of approximately 250m downstream and upstream. This work showed that there were no signs of otter nor evidence of suitable habitat for water vole within the site boundary during the surveys.
Lomond Banks is committed to improving the biodiversity of the area and the independent survey results found that increasing, enhancing and managing water quality and the connectivity of appropriate vegetation along watercourses could help to support future habitats within the site boundary.
Andy Miller: “Lomond Banks will be a family holiday village, and not a theme park. Attractive, sustainable woodlands are key to the overall character of the development, so retention of mature trees and their setting is essential. We want this development to be a credit to the community and to Scotland.”
The project, with an anticipated completion date of 2024, expects to bring as many as 80 full time jobs, 50 part-time jobs and to 70 seasonal posts to the area.
Local people will have the opportunity to view and comment on the plans as part of the process. The application will be determined by The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
About the West Riverside and Woodbank Planning team
A comprehensive technical team using a “place-based” approach as recommended by Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park developed this Masterplan. The team consists: award winning architects and master planners Anderson Bell & Christie, project management specialists Glenfruin with TSL contractors, planning, environmental and engineering experts Peter Brett Associates (now part of Stantec), environmental impact assessors Envirocentre and cost control specialists from Brown and Wallace. The application is on behalf of Scottish Enterprise and Flamingo Land Resorts Ltd.
This is a Planning Application in Principle. If successful, specific planning applications will be submitted for individual parts of the development.