CONTROVERSIAL plans to develop a holiday park on the banks of Loch Lomond have become Scotland’s most complained about planning proposals ever, it has been claimed.

The Scottish Greens said they believed the proposed Lomond Banks development, planned for Balloch, West Dunbartonshire, on the southern-most point of the loch had garnered the most objections in Scotland ever.

Their campaign has seen more than 67,000 objections lodged against the proposed development.

Theme park operator Flamingo Land lodged a second application to build a hotel, self-catering lodges and a waterpark on site after previously withdrawing earlier plans due to a public outcry.

READ MORE: Flamingo Land developers submit revised plans for major Loch Lomond resort

By September 2019, 60,000 objections had been lodged to the initial plans – the previous record in Scotland, according to the Scottish Greens.

Their MSP Ross Greer has led the charge against the plans and has called on the developers to “walk away”.

But Lomond Banks – the firm behind the planned development – said their vision for a “world class, sustainable tourist destination” was informed by local opinion.

In a statement, Greer said: “There can be no clearer sign for those considering this nature-wrecking application that the public do not want it in our national park.

“A record number of people, more than the 60,000 who objected previously, agree that this is the wrong plan for the wrong place and that it should be rejected at the earliest opportunity.

“The community at Balloch are overwhelmingly opposed to these plans and I know how much they appreciate the support from across the country.

“Flamingo Land’s owner promised that he would rip it up and move on if it was clear the development was not wanted by the community. He should now make good on that promise and walk away.

“This ‘resort’ would be a scar on the area, a blight on a world famous natural landscape, and a slap in the face to tens of thousands of people who have voiced their objections.

READ MORE: 'More than 55,000' object to plans for resort on banks of Loch Lomond

“If the sheer embarrassment of having the most unpopular planning application in Scottish history isn’t enough, if the strength of community feeling against it isn’t enough, if the weight of expert opinion from the likes of the Woodland Trust and National Trust for Scotland isn’t enough to force Flamingo Land into walking away, then it is for the national park’s board to do the right thing and reject their plans entirely.

“Flamingo Land’s mega resort plans have no place at Balloch, and I will continue to campaign with this army of objectors until our corner of Loch Lomond is safe. Together, we’ll beat them for good this time."

'Sham petition' 

Jim Paterson, the development director of Lomond Banks called the Scottish Greens’ petition a “sham”.

He said: “Ross Greer has once again demonstrated that he is more interested in clickbait politics aimed at raising his own profile than having a constructive dialogue about what could be a major investment into both the local economy in Balloch and Scotland as a whole.

“He has relentlessly tried to interfere with a statutory planning process that doesn’t sit within his jurisdiction and – in a shameless attempt to get people to click his online petition – the majority of the claims he has made about our proposals are utterly false.

The National:

Artist's impression of the proposed Lomond Banks development

"There is simply no way to validate the numbers he is quoting and who the people who clicked his sham petition are or where they live. 

“We have had genuine and productive engagements with the local community in Balloch over the past two years. We have spoken and listened to real people, local and national businesses, and other stakeholders about how we can create a world class, sustainable tourist destination that is both fitting for the area and is sympathetic to its important location at the gateway of Loch Lomond.

“We have legally promised to leave the ancient woodland of Drumkinnon woodland untouched and with our recent resubmission, the removal of ‘area 10’ means that in fact our plans will bring about biodiversity net gain. So we are indeed a long way from the accusations Mr Greer is making.

“Having listened to all voices within the area and amended our plans around community and stakeholder feedback accordingly, we believe that if successful, Lomond Banks will not only revitalise an area which holds such national importance, but provide numerous opportunities and investment so that the economic benefit for Scottish tourism and the local area will be felt and enjoyed for years to come.”

The plans have sparked anger from locals, with the operator currently locked into an exclusivity agreement with Scottish Enterprise, the owners of the land at Balloch.

The final decision will be made by the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority.