THAT the debate surrounding the proposed holiday development on a brownfield site at Loch Lomond has become political, is not in doubt. The fact that an MSP and a special interest group are involved in opposing the development, are testament to that ("55,000 say no to holiday resort plans for Loch Lomond", The Herald, May 21).

Whilst it is right that the plans submitted by the developers should be challenged, it is also right that the arguments made by those opposed to the development should also be challenged.

With regard to jobs: the MSP involved, Ross Greer, is dismissive of the fact that the development will ONLY create 160 jobs; and the special interest group is equally disparaging of the types of job to be created, dismissing them as low-paid service jobs.

I guess if one is a well-paid politician, who has a guaranteed parachute payment if one is voted out of office; or an activist, who spends one’s time walking, climbing and scrambling over Scotland’s hills and glens, you might miss the point: that 160 jobs, lowly paid or not, might be welcomed by the people looking for work in that part of Dunbartonshire.

Additionally, the MSP cites traffic congestion surrounding the development, on "warm sunny bank holidays". Well, there are eight bank holidays per year, and, if one visited any tourist site in the central belt on such days, it is likely they would encounter traffic congestion.

But what about the other times of the year, particularly in winter, where the roads and, more importantly, local businesses are dead? New investment, which brings a year-round knock-on economic boost, might actually be welcomed.

Of course the developer’s plans should be scrutinised, taking into account environmental concerns, and ensuring that those who currently enjoy access, paid or otherwise, to the jetties, beaches and pontoons at the site, are considered in any final plans. But, given that the service sector is vitally important to the economy in Scotland, to dismiss the proposal at a stroke, seems to me, short-sighted.

Thankfully, the local community council has recognised the employment and business benefits that the development could bring to the area.

The Lake District is geographically similar to Loch Lomond, but is much more developed in regard to tourism, and the income it brings with it. I would suggest that both the planners and developers look to that area, to examine the best and worst of what exists there, before any final decisions are made, which might see 160 much-needed jobs and investment, going elsewhere.

JS Brennan,

Glasgow G44.

WE at the charity The Antonine Guard were very pleased to see the feature by Teddy Jamieson regarding Scotland’s Roman heritage ("What did the Romans ever do for us? And who were they anyway?", Herald Magazine, May 18). It is indeed a facet of Scotland’s history and archaeology that deserves much wider public recognition, both for its intrinsic value and potential for cultural tourism, the latter being greatly more appreciated and realised by our EU partners than it is here.

It is a potential that we will only attain if we fully appreciate the value the international community places upon sites such as the Gask Ridge (the oldest and northernmost linear defence system in the Roman world), Ardoch and Inchuthill forts ( among the largest of their type) and more especially the Antonine Wall, a Unesco World Heritage Site and the largest feature of ancient archaeology in Scotland.

There are worrying signs, however, that this appreciation is not yet instilled in the public mind and certainly not in those of developers who have carried out transgression of the Wall and its buffer zone (for example at Auchinstarry) and are currently proposing to do so in the form of plans laid out by Bearsden Golf Club near the Castle Hill Fort.

The situation in the former example has been recovered by the sterling, robust efforts of Historic Environment Scotland and we stand shoulder to shoulder with HES and the local community group in Bearsden, opposing the utterly unacceptable development plans of the latter. We are, on the other hand, saddened and disappointed by the attitude expressed to us by Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop, who despite her specific remit in portfolio, seems to have declared her position irrelevant to the urgent threat at hand.

We ask her, and Bearsden Golf Club, to rethink their positions on this.

Ron Greer for The Antonine Guard,

Blair Atholl.