Developers have appealed to the Scottish Government to overturn refusal of a bid to build a roadside service complex in the Mearns.
The Mains of Luther site – just off the A90 Aberdeen to Dundee road – would consist of a farm shop, restaurant, cafe, steak house, hotel, petrol station and four-shop unit.
It is estimated the development would inject up to £3 million into the Mearns every year.
Proposals for the 13-acre development – which could create up to 117 jobs – were put forward by Halliday, Fraser, Munro on behalf of Luther Farm Services.
Luther Farm Services, which is behind the idea, has appealed to the Scottish Government after Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee (ISC) rejected the plans.
Halliday Fraser Munro, on behalf of Luther Farm Services, said in its appeal: “The planning officers recommended refusal on balance.
“This is therefore not, from their perspective, a cut and dried refusal.
“At the Kincardine and Mearns committee and ISC the councillors saw the merit in the proposed development.
“The local Kincardine and Mearns committee supported the application, whereas ISC refused it mainly on the grounds of road safety at the A90(T)/B974 junction.
“They did, however, support the general proposal, with junction safety as the tipping factor.
“There’s no evidence to support concerns over the latter and ISC did not have any additional information in front of them that the Kincardine and Mearns committee or the officers didn’t.”
The authority’s planners had a number of objections to the scheme, with the main ones being the lack of public transport and cycle routes serving the facility and the scale of the 10-acre site for its countryside surroundings.
Councillors on the Kincardine and Mearns area committee voted seven to five to refer the application to ISC with a recommendation for approval after a lengthy debate in May.
Committee members had raised concerns drivers would be forced to cross the A90 dual carriageway at a narrow junction to reach the facilities.
Developers hope to be granted approval on appeal.
VisitScotland has come out in support of the application.
Regional director Jo Robinson said that food and drink had become a big draw for tourists and the Luther site would help promote local produce.
The tourism boss said that with the potential for an Angus and Mearns tourist route in the mode of the North Coast 500 the facility would be in demand.
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said the authority was awaiting the outcome of the appeal.