CAMPAIGNERS against a major development have said there is a "democratic deficit" after two elected officials have ruled out voting on the plans.

Two elected members on the board of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority have declared an interest in the joint application by Flamingo Land and Scottish Enterprise, leaving the area which will be hit most by the development without a representative.

David McCowan, who represents West Loch Lomond and Balloch and Willie Nisbet, who was elected to serve east Loch Lomond and Port of Monteith, as well as being the depute convener of the board, have both taken a step back from the proceedings.

Members of the board are bound by a code of conduct, which details instances where an interest should be registered.

Mr Nisbet's partner owns a property which backs onto the proposed development.

Mr McCowan is the part owner of the Woodbank Inn, which is also a neighbouring property to where the boundaries of the plans have been set.

Three elected members now remain, representing Cowal and north Loch Lomond, Breadalbane and the Trossachs and Callander, none of which will be directly impacted by the building of the proposal.

Flamingo Land, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise - the commercial arm of the Scottish Government - plan to build more than 120 self-catering lodges, a 60-bed apartment hotel, a brewery, water park and the refurbishment of Woodbank House to house 15 flats.

Alannah Maurer, one of the leading voices in Save Loch Lomond, who are opposed to the development, told the Reporter: "These members declaring an interest means that they can't vote.

"That creates a democratic deficit because the elected members, who were voted in by the people who will be hit by this development will not be able to cast their vote."

A spokeswoman for the National Park authority said: "As with any public body, National Park Authority Board Members have to adhere to a Code of Conduct.

"This includes the requirement to register interests in relation to ownership or interest in houses, land and buildings in the National Park area as this could be seen to potentially influence a Members’ actions or decision making in relation to the business of the Authority where there may be an implication for the property in question.

“It is not unusual for some Members to have to occasionally declare interests and excuse themselves from the decision making process where such a conflict may arise.

"As this is a major planning application, the decision will be taken by the full National Park Board following a site visit and public hearing.”

A meeting of the board will be held following a site visit and a public hearing, where a final decision will be made on the proposals.