PLANNING officials have recommended that a controversial £30million development on the banks of Loch Lomond should be rejected.

The bid by Flamingo Land and Iconic Leisure Developments to build a 60-bedroom apart-hotel, 32-bedroom budget accommodation, 131 self-catering units, six private houses and 15 apartments, to be known as Lomond Banks, attracted more than 57,000 objections, believed to be a record for a planning application in Scotland.

A report released today (Thursday) notes that the plans have "not demonstrated that there will be no adverse impacts on the character or integrity” of the existing asset at the West Riverside site in Balloch.

READ MORE: Flamingo Land unveils 'Lomond Banks' name and first images

The report, however, is a recommendation only, with the final planning decision to be made by the board of the Park Authority after a public hearing on Tuesday, September 24.

The recommendation comes after a massive campaign objecting to the idea, led by Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer, which saw West Dunbartonshire Council, the major statutory consultee, unanimously recommend refusal. Argyll and Bute Council has not commented on the proposals.

Responding to the recommendation, Mr Greer said: "This is a monumental victory for our community campaign to save Loch Lomond from these destructive proposals and to keep this huge chunk of our national park in public hands.

"I am delighted that officials have recognised the avalanche of objections from residents and people across Scotland who value their publicly-owned national park.

READ MORE: Ross Greer delivers record number of objections to Lomond Banks proposals

“A glance at the plans shows quite clearly why anger is so widespread. Their proposals admit the development will result in injury and death to red squirrels and otters, pollute running and standing water and damage ancient woodland.

“The Park board must now acknowledge what their own officials, the public and the local authority have told them about the potential impact of this development.

"To grant permission now would be to put the interests of big business ahead of the public and the world-famous environment and wildlife of the loch. It’s time to reject Flamingo Land once and for all.”

Officials recommended refusal on the following grounds: scale of development; loss of woodland and habitat, and impact on Woodbank House.

Helensburgh's MSP Jackie Baillie said: "Given the vast number of people opposed to the Flamingo Land development, it is welcome news that planning officers have recommended that the application is refused.

"For months I have had a stream of letters and emails from concerned constituents who have raised a number of issues with the proposed development.

"It is clear that the local community has not been the priority of the developer and there are concerns that the development would negatively impact on the local economy as well.

"I hope that the board of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park will heed the advice given by their planning officers when they vote on the application at the end of September."