I HAVE numerous concerns relating to the Iconic Leisure application for a new Loch Lomond development.

Access and egress arrangements, noise disturbance and privacy, public access to Drumkinnon Wood and the river, and the number of trees that could have to be felled to accommodate the 100+ buildings planned, are just a few of them.

All these could be mitigated by planning conditions when a detailed planning application was submitted, so I felt that the most constructive thing to do would be to support the current ‘in principle’ application and raise my concerns with the developer and planners at the National Park at the next stage.

Then, something very important happened. Balloch and Haldane Community Council held a public meeting, open to supporters and objectors to ask questions and make their views known, both to BHCC and to the two Lomond ward councillors who attended – myself and Sally Page.

The official count from the community council was 167 people. Not one spoke in favour of the application. There weren’t even any questions about mitigating issues.

I’ve never been one to be influenced by an angry, shouty mob, but that’s not what we had. Almost everyone who spoke did so with great passion and conviction, and the points they made were reasoned and constructive. My eyes were opened to myriad other local concerns, some of which could not be remedied at the detailed application stage.

The proposal involves the sale of a huge swathe of public land and is an incredibly intensive development given the scenic nature of the area. The development needs to be economically viable for the developer, but the loss of amenity to residents will be unacceptable.

A development of this type and scale, may have an adverse impact on local tourism. People visit Balloch and the surrounding area to enjoy its natural beauty; it cannot be sensible to destroy the very asset that is the lifeblood of our community.

I was persuaded by the arguments of my constituents and will be objecting, as will our local MP Martin Docherty-Hughes.

Today (June 26) is the final day to submit any comments on the application to the National Park. I would urge anyone who has a strong view either way to make their views known.