CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a Flamingo Land theme park on the banks of Loch Lomond may have already broken strict environmental planning rules, the Scottish Greens have said. 

The party has also revealed that key images which should have been included in a vital Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) when the application was submitted were missing and only uploaded to the planning portal in August.

As these changes were not advertised to the public, an expert in planning law has said that failure to rectify this and re-advertise the plans could leave the bid open to a judicial review. 

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Plans for the massive resort, named the Lomond Banks project, were lodged with the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park for a second time in May after the initial bid was withdrawn. 

The first bid saw more than 60,000 people sign a petition objecting to the development, with a second petition gathering speed with around 30,000 signatures currently. 

Locals have frequently objected to the move and a campaign group Save Loch Lomond was established to fight the development which features a refurbished tourist information building, a 60-bed hotel, and 127 self-catering lodges. 

The developers refute the claims and accused the Greens of "scaremongering". 

The latest plans dropped a development in the ancient woodland at Drumkinnon Wood due to objections against the environmental impact.

And now the second bid from Flamingo Land has come under further scrutiny, with a legal expert pointing out the company's claims that the woodland has been "saved" don't stand up to scrutiny as the application contradicts itself.

One potential outcome of the development could be the felling of up to two hectares (three football pitches) of woodland as well as widespread clearing of trees elsewhere. 

The National: Four documents filled with visualisations, like the one pictured at Ben Lomond Way, of the development were uploaded to the planning portal in May.Four documents filled with visualisations, like the one pictured at Ben Lomond Way, of the development were uploaded to the planning portal in May. (Image: PA)

Legal planning expert Ian Cowan, representing local Greens MSP Ross Greer, submitted a detailed objection to officials over the Flamingo Land bid.

Greer learned that the 'visualisations' accompanying the planning application were missing and uploaded to the portal with the park authority on August 3 - three months after the initial wave of documents was lodged. 

As these changes were not notified or advertised to the public, there would be no way for locals and those objecting to know that they formed part of the missing EIA. 

The planning portal shows four separate documents - totalling 67 pages - of visual representations of the development. One image contained in the second document clearly shows that trees will be removed to make way for a car park on Pier Road South, a road which leads to the banks of the loch. 

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Cowan's detailed opinion sets out that as the drawings constituted a change to the EIA, the park authority is legally required to advertise the plans for consultation. 

Any failure to do so, Cowan adds, would leave any final decision on the development open to judicial review.

He also raised concerns about confusion over the number of parking spaces required, as well as the mitigations that will be put in place for the impact on the environment. 

In a letter, he says: ‘My client, therefore, urges you to recommend to the Authority’s Planning Committee that the Application be refused, and gives you notice that, should it be approved, my client will consider petitioning the Court of Session for judicial review of that decision.’

The National: Further images appear to show trees being felled to make way for car parking on Pier Road SouthFurther images appear to show trees being felled to make way for car parking on Pier Road South (Image: Lomond Banks)

Cowan also sets out that when there are "dozens of flaws and mistakes" in a planning application it makes it difficult to make "sensible assumptions about which other details are correct". 

He added: "Eventually a threshold is reached where it becomes impossible to assume that any particular detail is correct.

"My client submits that the Application has reached that threshold and that it should be rejected on the basis purely that it is incomplete and incomprehensible."

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Greer, who ran a fundraiser to pay for the legal advice, said: “Ian’s work has shown that the application is even more flawed than we had realised, with confusion over key aspects such as how much ancient woodland is to be destroyed and how many car parking spaces will be created.

"The revelation of a flawed procedure around the Environmental Impact Assessment and visualisations is particularly important.

“Some of the images show just how much of a scar on the local landscape this development would be, so it's vital that they are advertised clearly and properly."

Jim Paterson, Development Director for Lomond Banks, said: “This is another spurious attempt by Ross Greer to disrupt the legitimate planning process by scaremongering and presenting misinformation as fact.  

“The August 3 submission included images to inform the landscape and visual impact assessment and supported the conclusions of that assessment. At this stage in the planning process (planning permission in principle), these matters are always reserved for the detailed application stage.

“The planning authority accepted the information, and made it available on the planning portal in accordance with its procedures. It does not change the EIA in any way, nor did the planning authority identify any requirement for further consultation or notification.”

The Trossachs National Park has been contacted for comment.