The director of Flamingo Land has claimed objections to the company's proposed Lomond Banks development at Balloch are based on "misconceptions".

Andy Miller said it was wrong to think the land was previously some kind of "public" nature reserve teeming with wildlife and what is proposed is a theme park.

Speaking to the the Reporter's sister paper, The Herald, Mr Miller said: "This is not a place for a theme park. People are signing up to things that they are not fully understanding.

“They see something being posted on social media which says, ‘theme park operator developing Loch Lomond’ and ‘sign this petition to stop that happening. But people don’t know what is actually happening.

“The perception of the public is really important given they are the people who will be holidaying here. We want them to be convinced this is a good thing.”

Mr Miller, managing director of the Yorkshire-based company, was speaking after the plans provoked more than 55,000 objections, believed to be the most ever in Scottish planning history.

Green MSP Ross Greer has led the campaign against development, saying the overwhelming majority of the land is currently in public hands, owned by a government agency.

He said: “Putting it simply, this is a plan to sell off public land, in a world famous national park, for a private developer to profit from.”

Read more: Lomond Banks 'most unpopular planning application in Scottish history'

Meanwhile, an environmental impact study found development would be bad for iconic Loch Lomond species like red squirrels and otters.

That is another misconception, Mr Miller says.

“The report said squirrels and other animals exist in the Loch Lomond area, but that there were no signs of them on this site. While the habitat here is probably suitable, there are too many humans nearby for them.”

The theme park operator has partnered up with Scottish Enterprise to turn the old railway sidings and part of a former dye works into a new resort, £30 million or so worth of wooden lodges, some low-rise restaurants, a youth hostel and a 60-room apart-hotel.

If it gets the go-ahead, Lomond Banks will join the centre of Balloch, through the old railway yard, to the mooring of the Maid of the Loch paddle steamer and on across the former dye works to Lomond Shores.

Work would take place from 2021 to 2024.

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Mr Miller said: “Nothing will be blocked off. There will be no wall, no fence.

"Effectively, if you really wanted to walk up to the front door of a lodge, you could do it. We want to let people enjoy what they already enjoy.”

Will the site – which has gone wild since the 1980s – be as green as it is now? Yes, said Mr Miller.