THE president of the SNP has called for action on land reform after The National revealed a US firm’s plans to turn 8000 acres off Loch Tay into a high-security private “playground” for the super rich.

Discovery Land Company (DLC), which was founded by US business mogul Mike Meldman, is looking to turn Taymouth Castle into a “clubhouse” at the centre of a members-only resort.

The firm’s compound will also enclose the neighbouring 7000-acre Glenlyon estate, which is ultimately owned by US billionaire John Paul DeJoria.

At other DLC sites in North America, signing up fees for new members can be as much as $300,000, with annual follow-up fees reaching a reported $37,500.

READ MORE: 'Balmoral Castle in Edinburgh'? Facts all wrong as US firm sells Scottish fantasy

Locals have raised the alarm about the plans, which they say will spoil the unexploited nature of Loch Tay and not bring any economic benefits due to the self-contained nature of DLC’s compounds.

“The only benefit will be poorly paid jobs,” Rob Jamieson, the founder of the Protect Loch Tay campaign, previously told The National.

“They’re not going to pop out for a tea and a scone at the local baker’s. That’s just not going to happen.”

He added: “They keep saying ‘this is going to be for the benefit of everybody’, it’s not. It’s not going to benefit anybody but the people who own it.”

Sharing The National story, in which Jamieson was quoted, SNP president Michael Russell said it was “another strong argument for radical limits to individual ownership and much increased legally enforceable powers for communities to decide on what happens where they live”.

Russell, who is also a professor of Scottish culture and governance at Glasgow University, later told this paper: “The idea that money and the ownership of property is the only right that matters is not only obscene it ignores the last Land Reform Bill which established the principle that community rights should also be taken into account by land owners.

“Now that principle needs to be acted on and made not just optional but a binding legal obligation.”

He went on: “We have to stop this constant abuse of communities and the blighting of their future prospects because of the whims of wealthy people backed by powerful lobbying and by a Tory party that is full of landowners and which celebrates privilege.”

READ MORE: Why we're fighting to stop our loch becoming a billionaires' 'playground'

Mercedes Villalba, the Labour MSP who is currently bidding to limit private land purchases to 500 hectares before a public interest test must be met, said on Twitter that she agreed with Russell.

She urged people to respond to the consultation on her proposed Land Ownership and Public Interest (Scotland) Bill, which can be done on the Scottish Parliament’s website.

Russell has previously spoken out against plans for multi-millionaire Reclaim party backer Jeremy Hosking to be allowed to buy out the castle on the Isle of Rum.

In March, Hosking dropped his bid for the island’s Kinloch Castle, blaming Scottish Green minister Lorna Slater.

Attempts to contact DLC for comment have been unsuccessful.