Balloch and Haldane Community Council usually takes defeat on large scale planning matters in Balloch as a matter of course. The land behind the National Park HQ was for many decades a 300 vehicle car-park and recreational area. The CC objected to planning applications for this area over the years. We have recently been accused of not informing the community of what we get up to. Here is a short account of a running “battle” with NP and WDC regarding the Carrochan site.

Round 1: In 2006 we opposed the then housing application. However, it was approved in 2008. The community council, having no right of appeal, accepted the decision of the national park planning board and the conditions laid down for the development. The community council then had objections put before the planning officers and board in relation to reserved matters and even though we recorded many material considerations of conditions which had not been met by the developer, the NP officers swept these aside and recommended to the NP planning board to support the application. They did. However, this application fell as the developer failed to build the houses in the required timescale of the permission.

Round 2: WDC put in a speculative application to have housing on this site in 2015/16. No developer, just a plan for approval by the NP planning board. Again despite considerable objections from the CC and the public it was proposed by the planning chair at their meeting. No board member immediately seconded and a further 20 minutes discussion took place before board members were pushed to approve. We again have no right of appeal and have to accept the decision of the board.

Round 3: Site sold August 2017. No developer plans for site to date have been submitted as far as we know, but press reports mention 10 houses and 13 flats on site, which was the 2008 application. The council’s 2016 application had 11 houses and 12 flats +parking. So what is happening – something else.