A TOP environmental planning expert could be hired by objectors to scrutinise Flamingo Land’s £30 million leisure masterplan for Balloch.

Green MSP Ross Greer has launched an online “crowdfunder” in a bid to hire the services of Ian Cowan of Highland Environmental Law.

The appeal for funds was launched on Friday evening and by Monday afternoon it had raised just over £2,000 from people opposed to the Lomond Banks development.

READ MORE: First images of controversial £30million Loch Lomond development released

Mr Greer said: “The national park authority will make a decision on the future of the Flamingo Land proposal in the next few months.

“To make sure they make the right decision, we want to commission Mr Cowan to dissect the 1000-page Flamingo Land proposal.

“On behalf of all of us, Ian will submit a report to the national park authority which clearly lays out all the grounds on which this application should be rejected.”

This new development comes after the MSP achieved his aim, announced last week, of delivering 50,000 objections, which is believed to be a record number lodged against a planning application in Scotland.

This includes 49,025 lodged via the MSP’s website, and around 1,000 submitted independently.

READ MORE: Ross Greer: The sale of a national asset should be opposed

Approximately 10,000 new objections were lodged after the developers went public with their revised plans last week.

Speaking after Flamingo Land submitted their masterplan to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority, Mr Greer said: “The success of tourism at Loch Lomond comes from the world-famous natural beauty of our national park.

“For the sake of a private developer’s profit margins, that world-famous natural beauty, and many jobs and businesses currently dependent on it, are now at risk.

“Flamingo Land’s own impact assessment was clear about water pollution, destruction of ancient woodland, harm to protected species and much more.

“Between that environmental damage and huge local concerns about the impact on roads and access to what is now – but would no longer be – public land, it’s no wonder that 40,000 people have already objected.

“I hope people will speak up louder than ever in saying no to Flamingo Land and support the calls for the land to be taken into local community hands instead.”

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In a statement, the Yorkshire-based company said the development, on a 49-acre site at West Riverside, would transform an area of Balloch marked for tourism development in the local plan.

The plan is for a variety of family accommodation facilities, including a 60-bedroom apart-hotel, 32-bedroom budget accommodation, 131 self-catering units, six private houses and 15 apartments.

Facilities for visitors and the local community, including a craft brewery, boat house, leisure centre and restaurants are also envisaged.

Previously, more than 200 people attended a two-day consultation at Loch Lomond Shores, when concerns were raised about roads, environmental impact and loss of ancient woodland.

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