Loch Lomond: Kirsty Young’s Inchconnachan plans backed by conservation charity

A CONSERVATION charity has given its cautious support to controversial plans by TV news presenter Kirsty Young and her husband for a development on an island in Loch Lomond

The former Desert Island Discs presenter and her husband, Nick Jones, filed plans to build the short-stay holiday rental on Inchconnachan last year – though the details of the application were only made public in January.

They have pledged to transform it into “a beautiful place for everyone to enjoy” and have lodged plans with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park for a three-bedroom lodge and new boathouse.

The developers also aim to demolish the ruins of the colonial-style timber bungalow built in the 1920s, creating a natural wet woodland on the site.

The plans for Inchconnachan, which is home to a colony of wallabies, have attracted qualified support from the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

The plans for Inchconnachan, which is home to a colony of wallabies, have attracted “qualified support” from the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

Now James Fraser, from Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, has submitted a letter to the park authority to support the plans on behalf of the organization.

It read: “I am writing to confirm our qualified support for Inchconnachan on the understanding comprehensive and practical conservation and visitor management measures are attached to any planning consent granted given the sensitive nature and conservation designations of the 100 acre island.

“We are conscious the principle of replacing the current derelict summer house has been previously established with a planning consent.

The plans for Inchconnachan, which is home to a colony of wallabies, have attracted qualified support from the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

The plans for Inchconnachan, which is home to a colony of wallabies, have attracted “qualified support” from the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

“On balance, notwithstanding, it could be argued the development proposals are contrary to some of the local plan policies relating to the protection of the SAC.

“We consider the sensitive relocation of the house coupled with the creation of a warden / ranger base, carefully constructed boardwalks and the implementation of an island management plan will make a positive contribution to conservation and visitor management on Inchconnachan.”

A computer generated image of the proposed holiday lodge

A computer generated image of the proposed holiday lodge

However, he says it is disappointing that the overnight accommodation element of the boat house has been removed from the application due to an objection from SEPA over flooding concerns.

He added: “This weakens the visitor management measures required in the evening during the period April-October when there are a number of visitors wild camping on the island or using the beach areas. An evening presence would be desirable. ”

The plans for Inchconnachan, which is home to a colony of wallabies, have attracted qualified support from the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

The plans for Inchconnachan, which is home to a colony of wallabies, have attracted “qualified support” from the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

The couple attracted criticism for the suggestion their plans could see a colony of wallabies, first brought to Inchconnachan after the Second World War, removed from the island.

The Woodland Trust Scotland also objected to the plans, saying the building work would involve cutting down trees.

The plans for Inchconnachan, which is home to a colony of wallabies, have attracted qualified support from the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

The plans for Inchconnachan, which is home to a colony of wallabies, have attracted “qualified support” from the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

A petition started by objectors, ‘Save the Wallabies of Loch Lomond’, has also gathered more than 98,000 signatures from people protesting against any attempt to cull the animals.

Under the current plans, 35 trees will be cut down, including four individually surveyed trees.

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