Lomond Banks developer delivers legally binding promise to local community

Lomond Banks developer delivers legally binding promise to local community

The developer behind the proposed £40 million tourism destination in Balloch has delivered a legally binding promise to the Loch Lomond National Park Authority that contractually obliges the company to deliver on the various commitments that its representatives made to the local community during its extensive pre-application consultation process.

The legal document – labelled ‘The Lomond Promise’ – commits the Lomond Banks developer to the vows it has made to the community at pre-application stage, relating to employment and training, supporting local business and supply chain, alongside measures to maintain and conserve the ancient woodland of Drumkinnon Wood. Commitment to maintaining access, providing sustainable transport measures and efforts to manage anti-social behaviour are also outlined.

The Lomond Promise commits the developer to:

  • No zero-hour contracts
  • Real living wages
  • Job and training opportunities for local people
  • Commitment to local business, supply chain and marketing campaigns
  • Mitigating traffic impact
  • 24/7 access to woodland paths and national walkways
  • Preserving, protecting and enhancing Drumkinnon Wood
  • Subsidised entry to facilities for residents (where charges apply)
  • Measures to control anti-social behaviour

These promises come in direct response to the issues raised by the community throughout the process and aims to reassure locals that the developer is fully committed to making a long-term positive impact to the local area.

The contract expressly states that the undertakings it contains are made entirely without prejudice to the planning process. However, if planning permission for Lomond Banks is granted, The Lomond Promise will provide the National Park Authority with additional means of securing developer performance on the range of community issues which it covers, over and above any statutory planning conditions and obligations that the Authority might decide to attach to its decision notice.

“The Lomond Promise removes any doubt that may exist within the local community about our intentions for the site in the long term and demonstrates our commitment to being an active and responsible participant of the Balloch business community,” said Jim Paterson, development director for Lomond Banks.

“It is very clear in this situation that the community and their thoughts around our proposed development must be heard and properly considered, so we have directly addressed those concerns by providing the community with what is essentially a contractual guarantee that the measures we have put forward will be delivered.

“The Lomond Promise sets out a legally binding contract that should planning permission in principle be granted, we will be legally obliged to implement its terms as part of the development.

“We are steadfast in our belief that we can bring considerable economic and social benefit to Balloch and the wider area with our proposed development, not to mention a much-loved tourism destination that will revitalise the gateway to Loch Lomond and offer a wider boost to existing businesses that already operate here.”

Lomond Banks developer delivers legally binding promise to local community

Concerns over the potential impact of the development on the ancient woodland of Drumkinnon Wood have also been addressed as part of the promise, which states that following consultation, a Woodland Management Plan for the protection, maintenance and enhancement of Drumkinnon Wood and the informal woodland path network would be introduced to preserve and protect the area.

Traffic impact has also been a key issue raised during the planning process and The Lomond Promise has confirmed that Lomond Banks will put a strong focus on this matter over the coming years, joining forces to support a sustainable travel plan, and actively encourage other means of transport.

Jim Paterson added: “Whilst our transport assessments have demonstrated that the impact of our development on the surrounding road networks would be minimal, we appreciate that the potential for increased traffic flows across the road network remain an ongoing concern for residents.

“Our Lomond Promise commits us to joining a steering group to work through a sustainable travel plan for the area to find a long-term solution to the issues. Amongst other measures we have also committed to exploring all opportunities to provide integrated bus and/or rail travel tickets to the development to reduce private car usage and alleviate some of these concerns.”

West Riverside and Woodbank House have been identified and allocated by the National Park Authority for tourism development in the Local Development Plan and have been part of the development vision for Balloch for more than 30 years. The proposals also seek to deliver on a number of the improvements identified by the local community in 2016 through the Balloch Charette.

A voluntary undertaking tying the developer into legally binding obligations is rare but indicates Lomond Banks’ real willingness to engage and co-operate with the community to create something of which it can be truly proud for generations to come.

The ‘In Principle’ planning application sits with the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority for their consideration and determination in due course.

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