THE petition against plans to develop Taymouth Castle into a “playground” for the mega-rich has passed a major milestone, with another looking set to fall in the near future.

Set up by the Protect Loch Tay campaign group, the petition is aiming to prevent the “peace and tranquility on and around Loch Tay [from being] destroyed by the Discovery Land Company’s (DLC) overdevelopment at Kenmore”.

DLC have said that they will not be creating a “gated community” at Taymouth – unlike their private compounds elsewhere in the world – but concerns remain around the lack of a clear masterplan for the development, the impact on wildlife, and access to local amenities which the firm has bought up.

READ MORE: US firm responds to SNP concerns over 'playground' plans for Taymouth Castle

A petition looking to oppose the plans has flown past 100,000 signatures, and looks set to gather more than 150,000 in the near future.

At the time of writing, a massive 144,969 have signed the petition.

Rob Jamieson, from the Protect Loch Tay (PLT) campaign, told The National: “We’re certainly impressed. It’s uplifting to see so many people are in agreement.

“The other thing is, we’re able to view where the people come from. It’s difficult to scroll through 140,000 people, but as you look down it quickly it seems like the majority are from the UK and the majority of that from Scotland.”

Late last week, Kenmore Community Council – which supports the development – hit out at the PLT group and their petition. The council claimed that “many of their concerns are based on misinformation, scaremongering and in some cases what seems like malicious conjecture”.

READ MORE: Why we want to prevent Loch Tay from being a billionaires' playground

Peter Ely, the council’s chair, said: “We really don't need anonymous people from all round the world telling us how to manage our wee community.

“We have a wide range of experience on the council and through local volunteers, and are perfectly capable of deciding what is best for our area in a democratic, open and inclusive way.”

But Jamieson hit back. “I think that it would be hard for anybody to tell us we’ve no right to speak on this subject when there’s 140,000 people standing behind us, standing with us shoulder to shoulder, saying yes this needs questioned, this needs looked into,” he said.

“The messages coming through from people all over Scotland are lovely, backing us up, telling us we’re doing a great job, please don’t stop.”

Ingrid Ess, a co-founder of the PLT campaign, also said she wanted to “express absolute gratitude [for the] astonishing generosity” shown by many of the people to sign the petition.

She said that more than £40,000 had been raised through the petition – but that it would not be going to the PLT group.

The National: Taymouth Castle will become a 'clubhouse' under plans from US firm Discovery Land Company

Ess said: “It’s unbelievable the generosity of people. When you sign a petition you have an option to kind of boost it by making a monetary donation, and the generosity, it’s absolutely astonishing. It’s just a testament to people’s care for this cause.

“Of course, we mentioned it in a post and someone asked where does the money go. Obviously it’s not going to us.”’s rules state that any money raised through petitions on their website is used to “cover the costs of distributing the petition to hundreds, thousands, even millions more people in the community”.

The website keeps any money raised, stating: “All contributions go toward driving more support to the petitions on the site.”

READ MORE: Every General Election should be a de facto referendum, says Pete Wishart

The massive number of signatures on the petition come after PLT asked the US firm DLC to work with the local council to establish by-laws to ensure “legally-binding protection” for Loch Tay.

While the firm has not yet responded to the calls, it has penned a letter to SNP politicians Pete Wishart and John Swinney after the pair intervened in the case.

Taymouth Castle managing director David O’Donoghue addressed worries that the US firm was set on building a members-only private community like it had elsewhere in the world, the lack of a clear masterplan for the development, the purchase and closure of village amenities in Kenmore, and “woeful” communication from DLC during the development’s early stages.