THE developers of a controversial tourism proposal on the banks of Loch Lomond have been accused of a crude and cynical attempt to cherry pick the least offensive parts of its bid while being a slap in the face to local residents.

Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer made the comments in response to Yorkshire-based firm Flamingo Land revealing plans which could help save a former Balloch mansion which is now on the buildings at risk register.

As revealed by The Herald yesterday, Woodbank House, once a place that attracted politicians, actors and musicians, could be brought back from the brink as part of a tourism vision and given a new lease of life as holiday apartments.

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The 17th century estate forms part of the plans submitted by Lomond Banks to develop a tourism destination in Balloch which could see it transformed.

It is part of revised plans lodged by Flamingo Land to create a new resort on the banks of Loch Lomond.

Green MSP Ross Greer spoke out after Loch Lomond mansion plans were revealedProposals would see the former Loch Lomond mansion saved and converted to holiday flats

Mr Greer, who is part of the Save Loch Lomond campaign which has passed the 30,000 signature mark, said: “This is a crude and cynical attempt by Flamingo Land to cherry pick the least offensive parts of its application, but a slap in the face to local residents who simply do not want this monstrosity on their doorstep.

“Redeveloping Woodbank House could have been welcomed, if it weren’t part of such an overwhelming and inappropriate proposal for this whole area of the Lochside. Local roads and infrastructure just can’t cope with a ‘resort’ of this size."

The firm lodged plans for a second time with the National Park Authority last year. They withdrew their bid to build the Lomond Banks project in 2019, after more than 55,000 public objections.

Green MSP Ross Greer spoke out after Loch Lomond mansion plans were revealedWoodbank House, Balloch, was once a grand venue

Lomond Banks boss Jim Paterson said plans to help save the at risk mansion would be sympathetic.

Mr Paterson said: "When considering our planning application to the National Park Authority we wanted to ensure our application was sympathetic to the history of Woodbank House.

"It’s in quite a dangerous and unstable condition sadly, it may have been an easier route to leave it as is and focus our efforts on the estate, but we wanted to do the right thing and we felt that was bringing Woodbank House back to its former glory."

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However, Mr Greer added: “If Flamingo Land had genuinely listened to the overwhelming opposition to its first application and come back with a far smaller plan based around Woodbank House alone, that may well have been acceptable.

“Instead, it is trying to squeeze out every last penny of profit with a gargantuan development, including a hotel, waterpark, monorail and 127 woodland lodges. Flamingo Land need to get the message, its greed is not welcome at Loch Lomond.”

Lomond Banks bosses want to reinstate Woodbank House as an integral part of the Balloch community and recreate its role as a tourism destination within the village. Despite its poor condition, developers say they are committed to retaining the façade and rebuilding the surrounding shell.

Green MSP Ross Greer spoke out after Loch Lomond mansion plans were revealedWoodbank House is now on the at risk register

The £40m plan, which includes a 60-bed hotel, 127 self-catering lodges, a leisure pool and water park facility and a monorail, as well as restaurants, cafes and retail areas, will bring "economic benefits" to the area band create "more than 200 jobs."

The decision rests with the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority.

While a decision is yet to be made, however,  it emerged that the National Park’s estates manager has expressed concerns about the impact on the Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway.

The Slipway is owned and managed by the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority’s Estate department. The Estate Manager has submitted her concerns, which will be considered by the Park Authority’s board before they make their decision on the application.

The submission raises concerns over the need for Flamingo Land’s proposed monorail to cross the access road to the slipway at an appropriate height.

It points out that there is a lack of provision for long-term boat storage for any visitors staying at the lodges and bring their own boat. Concerns are also raised over disruption to the 3,500 launches using the slipway each year, including loss of trailer parking space and bottlenecks preventing vehicle access.

Mr Greer added: “This submission is yet another demonstration of why these half-baked plans should be firmly rejected - and this time it’s the National Park itself raising concerns. The slipway is popular with thousands of visitors and locals alike who sail or swim in the loch.

"The Park Authority’s board must take their Estate Manager’s concerns over its future operation extremely seriously.

“There’s still time for local residents to protect Loch Lomond and object to Flamingo Land’s destructive plans. "