Action has been taken to protect native and ancient woodland in Tarbet after a number of trees were felled without permission and to review unauthorised works to create a significantly altered new access route off the A82.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority has served the Tree Preservation Order on an area of the woodland to the north and east of the property known as Ben Cruach Lodge, Tarbet after deeming it at risk from further felling. This has followed an ongoing investigation that has involved working with Scottish Forestry.
The National Park Authority’s planning team has also received an application for unauthorised works at the same property which have created a widened entrance off the main A82 trunk road, a fence and gates.
The application, required by the Authority, is for retrospective permission for the fence and gates and for the permanent formation of an enlarged bellmouth entrance, and engineering works to form a new driveway, wall and gates.
Scottish Forestry issued a temporary Stop Notice on 8 May 2020 requiring all tree felling works to stop.
The planning application process will determine whether the works are acceptable or not and if permission should be granted or refused. Given interest locally from residents it provides the opportunity for the information provided by the owner to be accessible as well as formal comments to be submitted.
Stuart Mearns, Director of Planning and Rural Development at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, said: “We have taken this action because significant unauthorised felling and woodland removal has recently taken place at this property and while further information and reassurance has been sought from the owner on the remaining woodland, this has not been provided. We therefore feel that remaining native and ancient woodland could be at risk from further felling.
“This woodland contributes to the visual amenity and the woodland habitat connectivity of Tarbet and the wider Loch Lomond area. Unauthorised loss of woodland cover in this area would result in fragmentation of the woodland habitat and would also have a negative impact on the visual amenity for residents and visitors.
“As the planning authority, we have also required the owner to submit an application for the unauthorised works to create an significantly altered access off the A82. The application has been received and validated and will now be assess under the standard planning procedure to determine whether permission should be granted.
“The National Park Authority has been leading the investigation into the unauthorised works and is working closely with Scottish Forestry and Transport Scotland.”
In 2019 a pre-application notice was received for proposed major development in Tarbet which included this property. The owner undertook public consultation on their proposals. However, a planning application has not yet been submitted for the Authority’s consideration.
The National Park Authority carried out site visits to investigate the unauthorised tree felling and access works following information from a member of the public.
Planning applications and Tree Preservation Orders can be viewed online at www.lochlomond-trossachs.org