Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer joined more than 50 members of the public at a meeting last week to discuss the future of Loch Lomond, following Flamingo Land withdrawing their controversial plans for a resort development.

Last month, just one week before the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park’s board was due to announce their decision on the proposed development, Yorkshire-based Flamingo Land and co-developer Scottish Enterprise suddenly withdrew their plans.

The move came after more than 57,000 people objected and national park planning officers and West Dunbartonshire Council said the plans should be rejected.

While the developers are considering re-submitting plans, Mr Greer has been calling for Scottish Enterprise to cancel the exclusivity agreement which prevents alternative plans being progressed until December 2020.

The proposed development included Drumkinnon Woods, Woodbank House and the west bank of the River Leven.

READ MORE: Flamingo Land withdraws 'Lomond Banks' planning application

With the plans withdrawn for the moment, local residents have come together to consider what Balloch and the wider area needs and what would constitute a welcome and positive development.

Jackie Baillie MSP, whose constituency takes in Helensburgh, Lomond, Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven and includes the development site, has already backed a community buy-out of the land.

Mr Greer, Green MSP for West Scotland, said after the meeting: “It’s clear that residents don’t want anything that will leave a scar on the protected woodland and the riverbank.

“They don’t want more than 100 lodges providing holidays that many would struggle to afford, attract thousands more cars and sending profits to a corporation based far from the community.

“The meeting was bursting with ideas for positive alternatives though, which could provide sustainable and quality jobs, education benefits and more whilst preserving the stunning natural beauty which makes Loch Lomond a global destination.

“There’s growing interest in a community buyout to progress some of these ideas.

READ MORE: Helensburgh's MSP backs Loch Lomond sites' community buy-out move

“I would urge people to sign my petition at, ask Scottish Enterprise to cancel the exclusivity agreement for a key section of the land and to get in touch with the Save Loch Lomond campaign if they have any ideas or want to get involved with taking things forward.”

The list of ideas suggested included a municipal watersports centre, camping and motorhome facilities, a backpacker hostel, a forest school, heritage centre, museum and more.

There was significant interest in eco-tourism, which is growing at a rate of five per cent per year.

Affordability, educational benefit and recognising Balloch as an accessible base for exploring both sides of the loch were also identified as priorities, while Mr Greer also called for a coordinated public transport and active travel plan for all of the National Park.

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