April updates and news


THE East Loch Lomond Community Trust (ELLCT) AGM will take place at Buchanan Memorial Hall, Milton of Buchanan on Wednesday 26 April at 7.30pm.
As well as the formal AGM business, this public meeting will give attendees the opportunity to find out more about current projects.
ELLCT membership can be renewed – or taken out – online or in-person at the AGM.
Note: although all welcome to attend, only members can vote.


A MEANINGFUL start has been made at Balmaha’s affordable housing site to safeguard planning permission.
Rural Stirling Housing Association (RSHA) has so far been unable to engage a contractor for the construction within the current budget despite generous Scottish Government support. Extra funding possibilities, re-evaluation of the number of properties and re-design are some of the factors being considered to progress the project.


STIRLING Council has just requested a sixth extension to the legal decision date regarding this CAT. The ‘new’ date is 31 July 2023.
Notwithstanding previous ‘extended’ deadlines relating to the the request, the initial legal decision date was 6 December 2021.
Thanks to support from the Scottish Government-funded Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) ongoing discussions with Stirling Council have led to instruction for a joint valuation of the car park by the district valuer (DV) which is due by 5 May.


LOCH Lomond & the Trossachs National Park engaged consultants to create a masterplan for East Loch Lomond centred around sustainable tourism, net zero carbon emissions and active travel.
Balmaha has been identified as a key hub and following an invitation from the community, members of the project team will be on hand to provide information and discuss the potential projects at the community table sale on Saturday 15 April at Buchanan Memorial Hall (10am-4pm).


THE most recent update from Stirling Council and the contractor is that one lane is due to be open by 27 April and two lanes by the end of May.
At the update meeting ELLCT secretary enquired about a potential community benefit project to compensate for the disruption caused by the road closure. The contractor undertook to assess what works could be done to upgrade part of the footpath between Milton of Buchanan and Auchengyle.


THE group working on the local place plan will circulate an online survey towards the end of April. Paper copies will be available at the AGM.
The local information gathered will feed into LLNTP’s partnership plan.


ELLCT secretary attends the group meetings, chaired by LLTNP, which is a forum for Stirling Council, community representatives, stakeholders and businesses. The lack of participation of Stirling Council officials is regularly raised but attendance has not improved.
This lack of engagement results in issues identified by the group not reaching the appropriate officers and requiring continual follow ups.


FOLLOWING the partial C6 upgrade in January/February 2022 under the above scheme, Stirling Council has missed two deadlines (March 2022 and March 2023) to put in a  bid to see the required work completed.
ELLCT continues to put pressure on Stirling Council to submit a bid before March 2024.


FUNDING applications for community projects in the area are to be accepted by Buchanan Community Hydro Society from mid-April.
The deadline for this first round of funding applications is 12 May with awards being made in late June.
Full information and guidance will be made available over the next two weeks – and an open Q&A/information event will be held at Buchanan Memorial Hall on Monday 24 April (7pm).
* To ensure you receive information as soon as it becomes available please contact the society via bchs.community@gmail.com

Armistice day wreath laying and other updates…

Armistice day: Wreath laying at Rowardennan

ARTHUR Hannan will lay a remembrance day wreath at the Rowardennan memorial on Friday 11 November at 11am on behalf of the ELLCT and its members.
Local resident Kevin Mcleod will also lay a wreath on behalf of his regiment – The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Local piper Willie Park will play at the ceremony.
All members of the community are welcome.

Local place plan: information drop-in

THE local place plan core group – including representatives of the ELLCT, hall committee and well-being group  – is hosting an informal drop-in session at Buchanan Memorial Hall on Sunday 13 November from 11.30am to 1.30pm
The session will allow anyone interested to have a chat about local place plans and finding out more about how they can be involved.

Affordable housing

SINCE the last ELLCT update in April, another round of tenders has resulted in even more escalated costs reflecting the volatility of the current market.
Rural Stirling Housing Association is to discuss options with national park planners to take the project forward. Further updates to follow.

Community asset transfer: Balmaha car park

THE community asset transfer request to bring Balmaha car park into community ownership is still ongoing, despite being lodged in October 2020.
The request was not officially acknowledged until June 2021 and four requests have been made by Stirling Council to extend the decision date in the past year alone.
ELLCT trustees have been consulting with local councillors and seeking advice from Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) to speed up negotiations.

Drymen to Balmaha footpath

THE rapidly deteriorating footpath along the B837 between Drymen and Balmaha has been identified by the ELLCT as a priority for repair.
The need is highlighted by the expected increase in  footfall from West Highland Way walkers diverted by the planned closure of the Conic Hill path from mid-January until mid-March for repair and upgrade. Further Conic path closures are expected autumn/winter 2023/24.
ELLCT has repeatedly contacted Stirling Council and is still awaiting a response from roads department. The trust has also requested support from LLTNP to put pressure on the council to respond.

Buchanan Smithy defib

REPLACEMENT pads for the Buchanan Smithy defibrillator have been purchased and supplied by the ELLCT.