Loch Lomond doesn't need Flamingo Land – and locals don’t want it either

West Riverside development area, Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch, near Glasgow.
West Riverside development area, Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch, near Glasgow. -Credit:DAILY RECORD

Flamingo Land has relentlessly pursued its plan for a mega holiday resort on Loch Lomond’s shores for the best part of a decade.

That’s despite becoming the most objected-to planning application in ­Scottish history, facing overwhelming opposition from residents and being rejected by the environment watchdog.

Yet developers are now closer than ever to getting their wish after council planning chiefs – somewhat surprisingly – decided to U-turn and back the bid.

Ultimately, they don’t have the final say. It falls within Scotland’s beautiful Loch Lomond National Park and so is under the remit of the Park Authority.

But we’d urge both council and park chiefs to listen to the local campaigners who have spent years fighting this plan to spoil our pristine Bonnie Banks.

Balloch is a small community – one that is crying out for the right sort of investment and regeneration. What they don’t need is a £40million, 46-acre ­behemoth of a resort with a 60-room hotel, more than 100 woodland lodges, a water park, a huge 400-space car park, shops, eateries and a monorail.

They say it’s far too big for this area and will be destructive – clogging up already busy roads, threatening nature and scarring an iconic landscape.

Millions of tourists already flood to Loch Lomond every year to enjoy the sights and, occasionally, the weather.

This is one of Scotland’s most scenic spots, steeped in natural beauty and historic interest. That is what visitors – from near and far – want to see.

They don’t need Flamingo Land’s resort – and locals don’t want it.

This recommendation for approval has rightly sparked anger from locals.

So we hope they’ll make their voices heard and convince the Loch Lomond authority to finally bin this resort.

Cut disability waits

The devolution of more than a dozen benefits has mostly been a success story for the Government.

Nicola Sturgeon’s introduction of the Scottish Child Payment has put money into the pockets of low income families.

Scottish ministers don’t indulge in anti-claimant rhetoric and the harshness of the Department for Work and Pensions has not been copied.

But there have also been problems and long processing times are chief among them. Vulnerable families have waited too long for disability payment claims to be approved and much more needs to be done to cut waits.

Our story today about nine children dying while they waited for a decision is heartbreaking. Cases can be complex but the devolved Social Security ­Scotland should do everything within its power to speed up the process.

Everyone entitled to payments must get the help they need without delay.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.