OPPONENTS of plans for a new “leadership centre” on the shores of Loch Lomond haven’t given up their fight against the proposals – more than a month after they were unanimously approved.

An application by the Hunter Foundation, led by Scottish businessman and philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter, for a site in the grounds of Ross Priory, near Gartocharn, were given the green light by the planning and access committee of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority (LLTNPA) on November 23.

But more than a month since that meeting, no official notification of planning permission being granted has been published on the park authority’s website.

Councillor Sally Page and other opponents of the project, including the area’s community council, are angry that the park authority approved the Hunter Foundation’s application without asking for an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

Fishing and angling associations, university professors and other local residents also put forward their concerns about how the new building might impact local wildlife.

Councillor Page has written to the Kevin Stewart MSP, the Scottish Government’s minister for local government, housing and planning, asking him to review the committee’s decision by making a “screening direction for an environmental impact assessment”.

Officials at Mr Stewart’s department are now considering that request.

Councillor Page said: “At last it looks as if the SNP government in Holyrood might just be waking up to the issues raised by the Hunter Foundation’s plans for Ross Priory.

“It should never have got this far. It contravenes planning policies for the National Park, something that the planning authority acknowledged in 2019 in private correspondence with the Hunter Foundation.”

Stuart Mearns, the park’s director of rural development and planning, wrote to Mr Stewart’s department: “LLTNPA has undertaken a thorough and comprehensive EIA screening in respect of [this] application, and in adopting the screening opinion, we believe we have complied with all relevant regulations and procedure.

“The screening process commenced immediately following submission of the application. It was the subject of an extension of time and further information request to the applicant in July 2020 to enable further consideration and assessment of potential significant effects on fresh water fish species within Loch Lomond which may have resulted from discharge from the proposed on-site sewage treatment plant.

“The applicant subsequently amended the proposal to connect to the public sewer and this enabled removal of SEPA’s objection and conclusion of the LLTNPA’s Appropriate Assessment under the Habitat Regulations and adoption of the EIA Screening Opinion.”