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Latest details on West Riverside planning application process announced

Today (Friday 30th August) detailed information is being shared on the process that will be used for the determination of the proposed major development at West Riverside and Woodbank House, Balloch.

Given the scale and complexity of this application, and the significant interest in it, the National Park Authority has chosen to provide clear guidance on how to participate in the next stages of the determination process sooner than would normally be the case.

The dates and locations of the Site Visit and Hearing were confirmed at the end of July. At that time, we promised to share further details as they were confirmed and we can now share more information on what will happen over the coming weeks and how those with an interest can take part in the process.

  • We have published this framework document which sets out the timeline and processes below in more detail. We have set out the process in as much detail as possible here to help explain what happens next, and how those with an interest in the application can stay informed, or ask to speak at the Hearing.
  • We can now confirm that we intend to publish the report outlining the Director of Rural Development and Planning’s recommendation to the Board on the proposed development on our website on Thursday 5th September 2019. This is two full working weeks before the Hearing, considerably more than would normally be the case because we appreciate the significant public interest in this complex major application.
  • Please remember, the report is a recommendation only. The final decision whether to approve or refuse the application will be made by the National Park Authority Board, following a public Hearing, at a meeting in public on Tuesday 24th September 2019.
  • On Thursday 5th September we will also be in a position to publish the time and starting location of the Site Visit which Board members will take part in on Monday 23rd September. The start time for the Hearing and Meeting which take place on Tuesday 24th September will also be published on Thursday 5th September.
  • We understand that processes that are bound in legislation (like planning is) sometimes use specialist language that isn’t always that easy to understand. So, whilst our report and recommendation to the Board will still have to contain specialist assessment and refer to planning legislation, every effort is being made to make the paper as easy to understand as possible.
  • Once the report and recommendation is published, staff and Board members of the National Park Authority will not be able to comment on the merits of the application until after the Hearing and Meeting takes place. We will however, continue to provide updates like this via our website, social media channels and to the relevant local media.
  • Given the significant public interest in the application, and the capacity of the room at our Balloch headquarters that we would normally use for this type of meeting, we have opted to hold the meeting in a bigger venue. We have hired the largest, locally available venue to hold as many people as is practically possible for the Hearing and Meeting. Alexandria Parish Church can hold more than 200 people.
  • We have been testing audio webcasting equipment so that we can record and broadcast the Hearing and Board meeting for those who are interested in the application but who cannot make it along on the day. We are using a system used by other Local Authorities and are drawing on their expertise to help us use this technology at the Hearing and Meeting on Tuesday 24th.  A link to the feed for that audio webcast will be available on the day from this page on our website.
  • We will continue to provide updates like this via our website, our social media channels and to local media to make sure that people with an interest in the application continue to be informed of how things are proceeding.
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