A WEBSITE urging people to object to Flamingo Land’s plans for a multi-million pound development at Balloch has received “unprecedented” numbers of submissions.

Launched by Green MSP Ross Greer on September 25, the website reached the 10,000 mark within 48 hours and after one week was standing at more than 27,000.

The move by the politician allows people to lodge their own individual objection directly with the national park and he is also encouraging residents to sign the local petitions currently circulating.

He said: “I knew there was very strong local opposition to these plans, but I’m incredibly heartened to see opposition being expressed directly to the national park in such unprecedented numbers and in many cases from across Scotland.

“This is a site that should belong to all of us, and especially to the local community.

“It is not the plaything of private developers looking to turn a profit.

“The proposals would lead to the sale of iconic public land in Balloch, to be used for private profit to build a leisure development including woodland lodges, treetop walkways, a hotel, restaurant, brewery, a monorail and much more.

“The developer’s own environmental impact assessments states that there will be damage to ancient woodland, pollution of standing and running water, red squirrel and otter fatalities and other ‘negative effects’ as a result of their proposals.”

However, in a statement to the Reporter, Andy Miller, Flamingo Land’s director of sales, said some of the MSP’s assertions “are simply not true”.

He challenged Mr Greer and the Greens to point out where in these documents it states that protected animals will be killed and the ancient woodland destroyed.

Mr Miller said: “The truth is that nowhere in reports does it say that will happen. The reports actually address the safeguarding of ancient woodland and protected species - which are protected by law.

“Mr Greer also states ‘the damage will far outweigh any positives’.

“We would challenge this too, as the development would bring much needed regeneration, jobs, training opportunities and leisure facilities to the area.

“The site is not virgin lochside - it is a former industrial site, which was home to a dye works, railway sidings and gravel pits. For a number of years, the land has been earmarked for a tourism and leisure development.”

Plans for the £30million tourist and leisure development - submitted to the national park - were revealed to the public in May.

Mr Greer said his petition was a chance to ensure everyone could have their say and it was fantastic to see just how many people had decided to do so.