Plans to bring a Canadian coffee chain’s first drive-thru to Dundee have been refused by councillors.
Officers had recommended plans for a Tim Hortons near the Kingsway East to be approved, but concerns were raised that it contradicted the local authority’s city centre first policy.
That policy aims to discourage plans that could divert business away from the city or district centres.
The planning committee debated the plans after deputations both for against the development, with issues such as increased traffic in the area and a displacement of jobs away from the city centre being discussed.
Similar plans for the site had been approved in 2017.
Convener Will Dawson moved to approve the plans, albeit with reservations.
He said: “Whilst it is agreed that the proposal is not fully in accordance with our local development plan, officers believe there are material considerations for allowing approval of the application.
“Even though I am proposing to move the officer’s recommendation, I wholeheartedly agree with the town centre first principle and as a rule, this committee should seek to enforce where possible.”
However, Councillor Ken Lynn offered an amendment to refuse the plans. A tight vote of 10 for the motion and 11 for Mr Lynn’s amendment saw the plans being rejected.
Mr Lynn said: “We shouldn’t be building up the Kingsway at the expense of the city centre and the district centres such as Stobswell and Lochee.
“It is irresponsible of us to continue to encourage greater car use at a time when there is a climate emergency, quite apart from the damage that has been done to our city centre and district centres.”
Prior to voting, the committee heard deputation from Russell Pepper, on behalf of Dundee Cycling Forum, and Gavin McPhail, on behalf of Tim Hortons.
Mr Pepper said: “It is yet another case of poor quality, car-centric design.
“There’s numerous sites in the city centre, several empty sites for example along Reform Street, Seagate, Wellgate Centre and the Keiller Centre.
“There’s also empty units on Albert Street and Lochee High Street.
“Those areas should be used first and foremost over a retail park so the development should be refused on that basis.”
Mr McPhail said: “Our proposed Dundee store will create 45 jobs: 15 full-time and 30 part-time.
“We focus our efforts on attracting members from the neighbouring communities to work with us.”
Planning officer Gregor Hamilton noted any appeal by the applicant may be successful in light of the previous planning permission.
He said: “I think it’s likely if the application was to be refused, it would be taken into consideration by any reporter who might be appointed to review the decision should the applicant choose to appeal the decision.”
The Canadian chain has a number of outlets throughout the country, including one in Dunfermline.