THE National Park Authority has cracked down on fly-tipping at the former torpedo testing range in Arrochar after planning permission lapsed for a major development at the site.

The litter problem at the location of what was to be the Ben Arthur Resort on the shores of Loch Long has been raised repeatedly at meetings of Arrochar, Tarbet and Ardlui Community Council.

And in response to the community's concerns, vehicle access to the site has now been blocked to prevent drivers using the land as a dumping ground.

The village's MSP, Jackie Baillie, who also chairs the Arrochar, Tarbet and Ardlui Area Forum, said: “Environmental health and officials from SEPA have inspected the former Torpedo Range site and found evidence of fly-tipping, while local residents have reported a number of fires in recent months.

“It is disappointing that the site owners have so far failed to comply with their responsibility to keep the area tidy even though they have been served with an Amenity Notice.

“At the recent meeting of the Area Forum I also asked the National Park to take steps to enforce the Amenity Notice and encourage the owners to clean up the site.

“The owners are apparently still keen to develop the site in the long-term even though the current planning permission has expired.

“Any proposals to bring the site back into use as a business or community facility would be most welcome but in the meantime they really must do more to prevent anti-social behaviour in the area.”

A spokesperson for the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority said: “The park has served the owner of the site with an Amenity Notice requiring the owner to tidy up the site and close vehicle access.

“Since the notice was served, vehicle access has been blocked and the park is awaiting a timeline from the owner for the tidy up of the site.”

Planning permission for the Ben Arthur Resort project, featuring a 130-bed hotel, 36 holiday accommodation units, 16 dwelling houses and a building featuring a chandlery, cafe and bar, along with a pedestrian walkway, parking and landscaping, was granted in July 2013.

But the National Park's spokesperson confirmed that permission lapsed last year under statutory planning rules which require the applicants to begin work within three years of permission being granted.

The Arrochar torpedo testing range opened in 1912 to test torpedoes made at an Admiralty factory in Greenock.

The range closed in 1986, and demolition work began in June 2007, though a fire a month later left the site's control room badly damaged.

The Advertiser repeatedly contacted representatives of the Ben Arthur Resort Company seeking comment on the fly-tipping issue and the resort project's future, but no response had been received by the time this issue went to press.