A farm shop and steak barn plan for woodland near the Piperdam resort in Angus remains alive.
And those behind the scheme for the site beside the A923 Dundee to Coupar Angus road at the entrance to the estate have been given hope it will get a thumbs up if they clear one final hurdle.
The Forest Energy Scotland plan includes a farm shop, restaurant, biomass plant and staff house at the north of Piperdam.
The Mullin’s steak barn-branded proposal includes a 140-seater restaurant with two additional bothy rooms and outside seating, a 100-seat cafe and farm shop offering local produce.
It was rejected by Angus planners last year after officials criticised the design of the project.
But hundreds of letters in support were received, welcoming the prospect of a new business in the area.
Angus development management review committee councillors deferred the bid last month.
They wanted to make a site visit to see the exact location of the planned development.
A decision was due on Tuesday, but has now been held up by a legally-required European protected species survey specifically detailing environmental aspects including which trees are to be cut down at the site.
The company behind the scheme have, however, received a glimmer of hope councillors could be on their side.
Montrose councillor Bill Duff said: “I’m minded to approve this.
“The economic development opportunities, backed by our own economic development unit, are pretty significant.
“We need to look at rural jobs and that is a pretty important consideration.”
Arbroath councillor Alex King said: “I’m minded to uphold this, however we have been advised that we the European species survey and I’d like to see exactly which trees are going to come out.
“There’s a principle here that officers shouldn’t presume that their recommendation is automatically going to go through.
“If they had requested the legally required document we could have dealt with this today,” he said.
Committee chairman Gavin Nicol said: “The survey is required in advance of nay decision being taken.
“It’s a matter that can’t be dealt with just through planning conditions so it has to be presented to us before we can determine yes or no for this application.”
Consultees including the council and Nature Scot will have a chance to comment on the survey.
The planning bid is due to come back before the committee in early August.