NATIONAL park officials are embroiled in a row over the sale of plots amounting to thousands of pounds near the final resting place of the famous outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor which they say have little hope of getting planning permission for development.

A series of plots are on sale for auction for plots at the Perthshire village of Balquhidder, which are said to come with fishing rights and described as "the perfect retreat from the stresses and strains of a busy modern life" and a "perfect location for those who love the outdoors".

Rob Roy was buried in Balquhidder Parish Church in 1734, has since been immortalised in song and prose and is an attraction for many visitors throughout the year.

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority officials say the plots marketed with opening bids sought of between £8,000 and £15,000 are in an area at risk of flooding so any development would be unlikely to receive planning permission.

Concerns were raised about certain marketing material for the plots which did not directly warn about the status of the land.

But Glasgow-based Future Property Auctions, which is selling the land, have dismissed the concerns as "scaremongering" saying there was nothing untoward with the sales and that its own literature states that if perspective buyers were looking to erect a structure or chalet, inquiries must be made to the local council over suitability.

It comes as Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority officials have begun investigating unauthorised development in the scenic national park carried out on land between Stroneslaney Road and the River Balvag near Balquhidder.

Planning contravention notices have already been issued requiring detailed information on what officials described as "significant" changes to create a vehicle access and track, with no planning permission sought or granted for the work.

But officials have also raised concerns over six plots of up to 1.66 acres at the same site being marketed for sale at auction.

A plot of 1.66 acres, the biggest of the bunch had an initial asking price of £15,000 others were marked as 'price on application'.

And they have warned that they will not hesitate to take action to deal with unauthorised development in the national park.


One of the online auctions for one plot which is set to go live on Thursday.

They say the six plots for sale is the latest in a series of cases, where land in desirable locations is advertised for sale at an attractive price, promoting the area’s amenities and location, "without any reference" to the requirement for planning permission or that legal constraints are "very likely" to make the land unsuitable for development.

One plot being sold came with an enticement: "Enjoy all the seasons fresh healthy air and escape the pressures of city life."

Another came with talk about how the lochs, river, and glens around Balquhidder are "steeped in history". The promotional material states: "The village attracts many visitors from around the world who come to see the final resting place of Rob Roy."

Stuart Mearns, director of place at the National Park Authority said: “Any development work within the National Park requires planning permission. Unfortunately what we are seeing is plots of land being sold to people who are not fully aware of these constraints and are left deeply disappointed when they cannot, for example, use the plot to build a new home, a holiday home, park motorhomes or put up a small storage shed.

“On this specific area of land near Balquhidder, work has gone ahead without planning permission in place so we are taking action to investigate this work, with a view to restoring the land to its original condition and preventing any further unauthorised work.

“Equally concerning is that plots of land on the wider site are being marketed for auction, without detailing the significant constraints of the site. Anyone purchasing these plots would be very unlikely to receive permission to develop them as they are in an environmentally sensitive landscape where there is a risk of flooding."

But John Morris, general manager of the auction firm said: "We have not stated anywhere in any description that they would be suitable for development. They are just bits of land if someone wants to own a bit of Scotland. "The sellers are perfectly within their right to sell this land in chunks and comes with fishing rights. We are selling it to those who like the outdoors, who like to go hill-walking and camping.

"Do they not want people enjoying the outdoors?"

In 2020, planning enforcement action to stop development of a site dubbed Little America near Gartocharn, where small plots had been sold without highlighting the constraints on the land and where unauthorised work was carried out.

Work had been carried out to create a vehicle access, erection of a gate and site preparation related to a number of plots of land marketed as having development potential.

This was despite the plots not being identified as suitable for development in local plans and being unlikely to receive planning permission.

The stop notice banned any further activity relating to a change of use of whast was an existing agricultural field.

Eleven years ago there were concerns that buyers were being told they could double their money in just a few months by bying plots on a former farm in the Loch Lomond national park and a forest in the shadow of the Nevis range.

At that time 64 plots were found to have been offered at prices of up to £30,000 each - despite warnings that the land was very sensitive and highly likely to get planning permission.

Mr Mearns added: “Anyone interested in purchasing these plots should seek advice from suitably qualified persons or seek the National Park Authority’s planning advice in the first instance.

“It is disappointing to be in this situation as we did provide the owner and occupier of the land with advice in respect of the planning process and the risk of flooding. The significant constraints on the land have also been highlighted.

“Enforcement action is a last resort but one which we don’t hesitate to take where the correct planning procedures are not followed. We hope to engage the owner and occupier in positive discussions in order to resolve this matter.”

Landowner Cameron MacInnes of CPS Limited, said: "I am working with the National Park to resolve any planning issues. The whole thing is a load of nonsense."