Flamingo Land Loch Lomond mega resort gets council backing despite objections

The £40m Flamingo Land mega resort on the shores of Loch Lomond has taken another step forward, with local councillors giving their backing to the development.

West Dunbartonshire Council voted in favour of the site on Wednesday night, marking a U-turn from the authority. They previously unanimously objected to the original plans in 2019, reports the Daily Record.

The controversial plans include a water park, monorail, swimming pool, hotel, eateries, and more than 100 lodges. Despite clocking up a record 84,000 objections, council planning officers supported the plans and urged members to grant permission.

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Now, it will go in front of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority who have final approval on whether the resort will go ahead.

Flamingo Land is a well-known brand in the UK with a theme park, zoo, and resort operating in North Yorkshire since the 1950s.

It was granted exclusive access by Scottish Enterprise to develop on the land back in 2016 - but its first application for a massive 46-acre resort was withdrawn in 2019 amid local anger. It launched a second revised bid in 2022.

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Flamingo Land bosses say they have made “significant amendments” following feedback, including a pledge to upgrade the congested Stoneymollan Roundabout in Balloch, after concerns from locals, with a legal funding agreement in place with Transport Scotland.

Campaigners say the Flamingo Land bid is the “most objected to” planning application in Scots history.

One of those objecting to the proposals was the newly-formed Balloch and Haldane Community Council with concerns over potential impacts on the landscape and natural environment, local roads, firms, and public services.

Artists' impression of Lomond Banks development at Balloch, proposed by Flamingo Land.
Artists' impression of Lomond Banks development at Balloch, proposed by Flamingo Land. -Credit:Lomond Banks

They were joined by local Green MSP Ross Greer - who has long campaigned against the £40million bid - who previously said Flamingo Land was "not fit to take over one of the most important spots on the shores of Loch Lomond".

He previously told the Record: "This is a fundamentally inappropriate development - it’s too big and it's too disruptive.

"Balloch does not want or need over a hundred woodland lodged and almost four hundred parking spaces, never mind a waterpark, hotel, and monorail scarring one of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes."

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Eco watchdog SEPA also objected to the plans and had flagged parts of the proposed development as a serious flood risk, while heritage chiefs at the National Trust for Scotland raised concerns that the holiday complex would clog up roads and ruin natural beauty if approved.

A hearing on the plans will be held by Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority for the first time in public when the board will vote on whether the resort will get the go ahead.