Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Loch Lomond Flamingo Land leisure park plan thrown out (so far)

Another item came to a head while I was out of circulation, so just to tie it up neatly…

Plans for a £30m leisure park on the shores of Loch Lomond have been unanimously rejected by West Dunbartonshire councillors.

The controversial Lomond Banks development – a joint venture between theme park operator Flamingo Land and Scottish Enterprise – include plans for a hotel, hostel, restaurants, craft brewery, boat house, leisure centre and six private houses in the Balloch area.

A Save Loch Lomond petition was set up in response to the development, with the campaign group arguing the need to preserve the national park for future generations.

Led by Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer, the petition has so far generated over 56,000 formal objections to the plans.

Mr Greer welcomed the council’s decision, branding the development as the “most unpopular planning application in Scottish history“.

Given that the process is not yet complete, I wouldn’t rule out anything being done in order to push this through ‘By other means’.

This is outside my area, but I’ve also read enough planning applications to have seen that some which might have been considered to have been ‘Dead and Buried’ were able to drag on for years as wealthy backers/proposers tried all sort of ruses to get them approved, with no end of changes and tweaks to the original application being made in an effort to make them conform to rulings, and bypass objections.

Although West Dunbartonshire Council opposed the plans on Wednesday evening, the final decision will be made by the board of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

No date has been set for the decision as the consultation and statutory planning stages are still ongoing, but a full public hearing will be held before the final verdict.

A spokesperson for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said: “As the planning authority considering a live application, it is not appropriate at this stage for any comment to be made on consultation responses received or the proposals themselves.

“With all the main consultation responses now received, planning officers can finalise the assessment of these complex proposals against relevant planning policies, consultation responses and the large number of public comments received.

“The next stage is for an officer report, with a recommendation to either approve with conditions or refuse the application, to be presented to the national park board.

“The board has already agreed that a site visit followed by a full public hearing should be held before a planning decision is taken to ensure that people who have commented on the application have the opportunity to speak.

“Dates for the special hearing and board meeting are currently being identified and will be publicised to all interested parties when confirmed.”

Councillors vote against £30m Loch Lomond leisure park

See also:

Councillors reject plans to build Flamingo Land on Loch Lomond shores

Like I suggested in my previous post, that the proposal should even have got as far as it did just makes me wonder what the National Park Authority is there for.

I’d think someone should be calling for it to be investigated, or for its remit to be reviewed to see if it is appropriate, or even fit for purpose.

I just hope that by the time I think I’m fit enough to cycle to Balloch for a nice day out, it will still be there, and not have be fenced off and have admission tickets for sale.


06/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Beware of ‘Salt Lamps’ if you have pets

It’s years since I saw the first ‘Salt Lamps’ appear in my local markets, and I thought the biggest danger they posed was that of parting fools from their money as they seemed to be being sold for silly money on the basis of being one of those magical health cure alls, like crystals and homeopathy. They often have cards and posters mounted nearby listing the claims for their effects, none of which can actually be tested or proven.

Like fad diets, these are all items that can be picked up for pennies, and sold for pounds (even tens, or hundreds) to gullible or desperate people seeking some sort of fix or cure for a problem they have, and can’t, or won’t, accept that it may not have one.

Unfortunately, it seems that these salt lamps do have one proven effect – they cause illness and even death to pets such as cats and dogs.

The salt these lamps contain can be ingested if they are licked, and act as poisons to disrupt the body’s neurological systems, causing illness at  best, and death if not treated.

Salt lamp cat

The pretty pink lamps are a popular decoration in many homes, as they’re thought to have a number of health benefits… but not if you’re a cat!

Himalayan salt lamps are usually a welcome addition to any bedroom or living space as they’re thought to help with sleeping and boost moods, however, the same doesn’t apply for cats.

Vets have warned that the pink rock lamps can be LETHAL to cats, and the warning comes after a New Zealand pet owner nearly lost her feline friend as a result.

The lamps, which are huge lumps of salty rock are very tempting for cats to lick du etc its course texture, but this could cause sodium poisoning, which causes a number of negative effects such as pain, vomiting, seizures and even DEATH.

Maddie Smith suffered the horrible result of having the lamp in her home after cat Ruby started “walking really strangely” last week and holding her head in a strange way.

In a matter of hours Ruby’s health had deteriorated massively and she was unable to drink or eat and she couldn’t see, hear or walk.

After a visit to the vets, it was revealed that she was experiencing salt poisoning, which had caused her brain to swell and led to neurological problems.

Although Ruby was treated and has now recovered, the vets who treated her warned that if she had taken any longer to go to the vets she would have definitely died.

Maddie added: “Salt poisoning is EXTREMELY deadly to animals and she is basically a miracle to still be here now. ‘These salt lamps are addictive to animals, and if they get a taste it becomes just like potato chips are to us!

Vets warn Himalayan salt lamps are dangerous and could KILL cats

Then again, some cats MAY be using these lamps for their own plans…

Salt lamp cat

These are old pics I collected online a long time ago.

I hope those cats didn’t develop problems as a result of their curiosity.

06/07/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Free Govan ferry returns for 2019 season

I wish I’d known about this sooner, as I was in Govan and visited both the spot where the new/current ferry operates from, and the site of the original Govan ferry.

While there’s not much left of the original ferry terminal area, there is enough to recognise it for what it was, and I’d have stopped for a pic, but for a couple of shady looking characters who looked as if they were doing drugs in the semi-hidden area nearby meant I hurried past.

The Govan Summer Ferry will operate from 03July up to 20 October 2019.

Free to use, the ferry sails between as follows:

8am – 6pm Monday to Friday

10.00am – 5.30pm at weekends

The ferry departs Govan from the pontoon at the bottom of Water Row and shuttles backwards and forwards continually throughout the day, with the last ferry departing Kelvin Harbour 6pm weekdays, and 5.30pm weekends.

There is space for bikes, so cyclists can use the crossing too.

The Govan Summer Ferry is provided free of charge thanks to fundraising led by Govan Workspace and the generous donations of many local organisations and agencies.

Do You Have Limited Mobility?

If you have limited mobility please be aware the ferry is not completely accessible but as long as you are happy to be assisted onboard, please contact Gregor Connelly on 07545 903 626 in advance of your trip so things can be prepared.

Confirm details on the ferry’s web site here:

Free Govan Ferry 2019

Free Govan Ferry - Ellens Isle - via Get into Govan

Free Govan Ferry – Ellens Isle – via Get into Govan

I was there a few days too early to see the ferry.

But I did find one pic I’d collected there, showing Tall Ship (the barque Glenlee) moored in front of Riverside.

So, I was at least close.

The Tall Ship and Riverside from Govan

The Tall Ship and Riverside from Govan

This is actually a fascinating place to wander around, and I collected a load of pics of various memorials.

I had no idea this area was even accessible, and only made the trip because I spotted the extensive railings (seen the in the pic) which border a long walkway along this side of the river.

It’s well worth the effort to get to.

This is also described on the Get into Govan web site:

Govan’s new riverside walkway is now open to the public and the transformation is fabulous. The stunning new pathway, which creates access to Govan Old along the waterfront from Water Row to Wanlock Street, restores access to this part of the riverside for the first time since the closure of the Harland & Wolff Shipyard. With unrivalled views of the river, the new pathway is a great place to walk, sit, cycle and enjoy the waterfront, and, even better, the true splendour of Govan Old, Govan’s own cathedral, is revealed for all to see and appreciate. The pathway leads directly to the summer ferry terminal at Water Row and will come into its own when the new Govan-Partick pedestrian and cycle bridge is complete in 2021 – helping to connect up journeys and boost visitor numbers to Govan.

Now open – Govan’s fabulous new riverside walkway

This sign dates its opening to 2017, so I’m not as late as usual in finding this.

Govan Old Walkway Sign

Govan Old Walkway Sign

The locals are already making use of it.

Govan Walkway Cat

Govan Walkway Cat

I thought that cat had short legs – but at this time of year it’s more likely to be a belly full of kittens!

I wasn’t as close as this shot looks, and never got any closer than about 10 metres before she slipped through a fence in into a nearby garden.

Then kept popping out to see if I was gone.

06/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Maritime, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Today is Fried Chicken Day

06 July is Fried Chicken Day.

Not all things American are bad (even if it is the home of ‘Trump’).

Move over vegetarians and vegans, there’s deep-fried chicken leg and breast are incoming!

Pair with your favourite accompaniments, and just enjoy.

This reminds of holidays in Ayr, where a little restaurant we often visited featured chicken fritters on the menu, and I blame for my favouriting of this simple, but delicious treat, which is not considered ‘serious’ eats.

A mistake in my opinion.

Sadly, that restaurant disappeared many years ago, replace by yet another horrible Indian restaurant serving curries.

Curry – all look the same, all taste the same, and I believe a British Imperial invention to hide the true identity of whatever ended up in the Army’s cooking pot, as the poor soldiers wouldn’t have eaten whatever it was if they could have identified it (or been able to taste it).

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

Couldn’t resist the temptation…

To add this sign I ‘fixed’ after spotting the original chalked on the path in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park a while ago.

Kelvingrove Park Graffiti

Kelvingrove Park Graffiti

06/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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