Developers behind a bid to site a farm shop and steak barn near the entrance to Piperdam in Angus must wait a while to be grilled by councillors on their plan.
Forest Energy Scotland lodged the bid for a woodland site beside the A923 Dundee to Coupar Angus road last June.
But their scheme for the farm shop, restaurant, biomass plant and a staff house was rejected by Angus Council planners at the end of last year.
The Mullin’s steak barn branded application drew almost 300 letters of representation – 101 objecting to the proposal but nearly twice as many in support.
The applicants said they wanted to create the business to tap into the multi-million pound Angus food and drink sector, deliver new employment prospects and add to the offering for the Piperdam community built up around the luxury resort north of Dundee.
Their plans envisage a 140-seater restaurant with two additional bothy rooms and outside seating.]
A café with seating for 100 and farm shop offering local produce are also in the scheme.
Angus Council’s own economic development unit backed the plan.
It said the development would create a “platform to highlight locally sourced produce in a sustainable way, which would both benefit the local area and support the wider economy.
“In addition, the staff accommodation and the provision of new jobs is a significant benefit to the local economy,” it said.
However, Scottish Forestry objected over the loss of woodland in an area covered by a legally binding restocking obligation.
Muirhead, Birkhill and Liff Community Council also raised concerns around issues including noise, traffic safety and drainage.
The main points of concern among individual objectors included fears over the impact on the Piperdam resort and a potential jobs displacement from there.
Others worry it could create a precedent for further development.
There were also concerns around the impact on wildlife including protected species including red squirrels, badgers and bats.
The flood of support included a potential tourism boost and a new addition to the local business offering.
A number of Dundonians said the good transport links to Piperdam would encourage them to visit and backers also cited healthy competition as a good thing.
But the proposal was knocked back at the end of December for breaching the local plan.
Planners slated the design of the proposal as “poor” and said there was no justification for a staff house.
“Little attempt has been made to design the building in a manner that would allow it to make a positive contribution to the rural landscape,” said the planning decision.
“This application proposes development on land that is otherwise protected as open space by Angus local development plan policy.
“It would result in a development that would have an adverse impact on the setting and environment of Piperdam, and would give rise to adverse landscape and visual impact.
“No information has been submitted to demonstrate that the development would enhance or maintain the recreational and tourism potential of the golf course and associated facilities.
“The design quality of the proposal is poor…the proposal is contrary to the development plan and there are no material considerations that justify approval.”
The knockback led to the applicants appealing the refusal to Angus Council’s development management review committee.
They were due to consider the bid on Tuesday, but agreed a site visit was necessary to see for themselves the planned location.
It will go ahead in due course before coming back to the committee for consideration.