ENTERPRISE chiefs say they cannot axe a deal with Flamingo Land developers – even after the Yorkshire firm pulled plans for its Loch Lomondside resort.

The Balloch bid is amongst the most controversial planning rows of recent years.

Flamingo Land aimed to create a £30 million holiday complex on 44 acres of lochside land in the scenic village.

More than 55,000 objections were lodged as people from outwith West Dunbartonshire and even outwith Scotland called for the preservation of the bonnie banks.

The Save Loch Lomond campaign highlighted fears about the environmental and community impact of the change.

The developers insisted they'd bring jobs and investment, but withdrew their planning application after Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority officials recommended their rejection last year.

That move came after a call to the Scottish Government from the leader of overlapping West Dunbartonshire Council over value for money and other issues.

But the holiday firm is still signed into an exclusivity agreement with current landowner Scottish Enterprise which means noone else can purchase the ground.

Now West of Scotland Greens MSP Ross Greer wants Holyrood to have that deal axed after around 13,000 people signed a petition backing such a move.

He's presented that petition to the Scottish Government.

But Scottish Enterprise says it is legally bound to honour the deal. A spokesperson said: “As the petition recognises, we are currently bound by the legal terms of an exclusivity agreement.

“However, we continue to consider the interests of the local community as we work to help the economy recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic.”

Flamingo Land Ltd has not ruled out making a revised planning application for the brownfield site, once used for industrial purposes. The exclusivity agreement was previously lengthened by two years and could be extended again if this is agreed before it expires this month.

The National:

In a letter to Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop, Greer said: “It’s over a year since the community first defeated Flamingo Land’s destructive and unwelcome plans and we still don’t know whether a line can finally be drawn under this or if it will start all over again with a fresh application.

“This long-running saga has exhausted the community and it needs to end. Flamingo Land lost, they are not welcome and they need to move on.

“Whether or not that happens is ultimately in the hands of the Scottish Government and their economic agency.

“They can either extend the agreement, again, which would likely mean years of Flamingo Land fighting for an inappropriate, damaging and unwanted development and the community being forced to once again fight back, or they can cancel the exclusivity agreement and support local residents to decide what an appropriate future for the site would be.”