A Scottish conservation group has slammed plans for a holiday lodge to be built on a Loch Lomond Island.
Scottish television presenter Kirsty Young and her husband are planning to build the lodge after filing their plans to build the short-stay holiday rental on Inchoconnachan last year.
However, they have been met with widespread criticism and public outcry, as Woodland Trust Scotland said the plans would see ancient woodland ‘gone forever’.
As part of the redevelopment the Scottish broadcaster has also suggested their plans would see a population of wallabies moved from the island.
George Anderson, of the Woodland trust, said: “Ancient woodland is an irreplaceable habitat. Once lost, it is gone forever.
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“If ancient woodland isn’t safe here, then something is far wrong. We call on the planning authority to reject this application.”
Planning documents said the couple’s “goal is to create a world class and beautiful place for everybody to enjoy”.
The trust said it was concerned about the direct loss of ancient woodland, the creation of boardwalks within the ancient woodland area, the noise and light pollution from the build, and the threat to the long-term retention of surrounding trees.
Under the couple’s current plans, 35 trees will be cut down, including the felling of four individually surveyed trees.
The trust said it was “generally supportive of sensitive ancient woodland management” but added that development can lead to long-term changes, and majorly adverse impacts would occur as a result of trees being chopped down for the build.
If proposals submitted to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park are approved, a two-storey, three-bedroom timber lodge will be built on the island, alongside a boathouse, jetty and other infrastructure to help run the island.
As well as concerns about damage to the woodland, there had been fears that wallabies, introduced onto the island in the 1940s, would be removed, prompting almost 60,000 people to sign an online petition calling for them to be saved.
Under the plans, the existing lodge and boathouse would be knocked down.
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Planning documents said the island “is a beautiful and sensitive place, well protected for its historic woodlands, habitat and natural beauty but it is in a declining poor condition and under growing pressure from an increasing number of visitors, anti-social behaviour and grazing herbivores”.
Young and Jones, who founded the private members’ club group Soho House, bought the island in January.