CAMPAIGNERS have launched a petition aiming to put a halt to plans for an 8000-acre private “playground” for the mega-rich on the shores of Loch Tay.

The Protect Loch Tay group is also asking people to back their calls for oversight of the plans for Taymouth Castle to be taken out of the hands of Perth and Kinross Council, who they accuse of having “failed” in their duty of care for the area.

It comes after US firm Discovery Land Company (DLC) made clear its plans to turn Taymouth Castle, the neighbouring Glenlyon Estate, and properties in the nearby village of Kenmore into an exclusive club for super-rich members.

READ MORE: Fury at plans for 8000-acre 'playground' for mega rich on Scots loch

Access to the DLC compound – which the company calls a “world” – will be restricted to people with membership, which comes with the purchase of a property typically somewhere between $3 million and $50m.

Campaigners say that the self-contained compound will not bring benefits to the local economy but will only see super-rich members treat the area as a playground.

The petition, launched by Protect Loch Tay group founder Rob Jamieson (below), states: “The people of Scotland and our visitors from around the world stand to lose access to land around Kenmore, and have our peace and tranquility on and around Loch Tay destroyed by the Discovery Land Company’s overdevelopment.

“DLC plan to create a private resort for the mega-rich on over 8000 acres of land at Taymouth Castle, Glen Lyon and other areas around Loch Tay. Their sales brochure describes Scotland as an ‘untouched playground’.

The National: Rob Jamieson set up the Protect Loch Tay group to oppose the developer's plans for Taymouth Castle“This whole area is a treasured part of our Scottish heritage and culture and we seek to preserve it for everyone of us, our children, our grandchildren and generations to come.”

Ownership of the estates is ultimately in the name of DLC founder Mike Meldman and US billionaire John Paul DeJoria, through various companies with names such as River Tay Development Ltd, Taymouth Holdings Ltd, and PLH in the Highlands Ltd.

Planning permission for the extensive developments is being sought through a series of planning applications, some of which have already been granted approval while it is understood that others are yet to be submitted.

The petition accuses DLC of splitting their larger plans into many smaller ones in order to keep the community in the dark.

READ MORE: SNP president calls for 'binding' land reform over Loch Tay compound plans

It states: “The current scenario of individual planning applications which are being drip-fed to the community is neither fair nor ethical and could be construed as devious, look up ‘salami slicing’.

“DLC are known to currently have control over Taymouth Castle Estate, Newhall Woods on the banks of the Tay, Glenlyon Estate, Loch Farleyer, Kenmore Hotel (has been shut down), Kenmore Beach, Kenmore Beach Parking, the Paper Boat Café (shut down now) and Kenmore Boat Hire (has also been closed).

“The full extent of land, properties and estates in their control is unknown as they use over 50 different company names.”

It goes on: “We seek to highlight this to the Scottish Government and demand a complete halt to all further and future development. We also seek to limit the number of powered watercraft to the present level.

“We want strict oversight of what development is already underway by an authority other than Perth and Kinross Council, who we see as having failed to protect this beautiful area.

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

“We request a review of community councils' roles in developments of this size, when they are dealing with entities who have the experience, power and financial clout of DLC Group.

“Now is the time to act before further consents are given, and we have lost our stunning natural heritage in this area forever. If lost it cannot be replaced. Please sign our petition and help protect Loch Tay and environs.”

Previously, a spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council said they were “broadly supportive of this ambitious project to restore the Category A Listed Taymouth Castle, and to use part of the wider estate for leisure-related facilities”.

They went on: “The Council considers all planning applications in line with national and local policy and guidance and will determine them accordingly. Submissions from members of the public regarding any planning application will be taken into account as part of that process.”

You can sign the petition here.