Dundee City Council has been accused of being “closed for business” by chain store Next.
The company has announced it is to appeal a decision by the council’s planning committee to reject its plans for a new Home and Garden store at Kingsway West.
It will ask Scottish Government ministers to overturn the committee’s decision.
Next claims more than 80% of Dundonians support their plans and says councillors have refused to meet with the firm about its plans for further investment in the city.
Councillors rejected Next’s proposals because they fear the store would lure shoppers away from the city centre.
But in a strongly-worded statement, Next said the rise of internet shopping means the council must revise its position or risk Dundee’s retail sector withering on the vine.
The statement said: “Following the decision Next has made a request to meet with councillors to discuss their investment plans for Dundee further, but that meeting has also been rejected by the councillors.
“The new store would have complemented Next’s successful city centre store at Overgate, where the lease has been extended to 2024.
“As part of the planning application Next was offering a cast iron guarantee to maintain the city centre, offering to trade fashion from Kingsway West only for so long as Next did so in the city centre.
“Unless Next can provide customers with stores in which they are inspired to visit and shop, online purchasing will continue to increase.
“Dundee is failing to support those retailers with a strong bricks and mortar presence and who, in the case of Next, employ local people and contribute £7.7m to the Scottish economy in terms of business rates.”
It concludes: “Every week customers in Dundee are asking Next store managers when Next are going to be able to deliver a full offer to Dundee and many tell us they are already travelling to Edinburgh and Aberdeen for a decent choice of shopping.
“Internet shopping in Dundee is already higher than the average in Scotland, and that surely tells the planners something about their restrictive policies and ‘closed for business ‘ approach.
“Next intends to appeal the decision.”
Next’s propose store would replace two of its current stores at Kingsway West Retail Park and the Gallagher Retail Park.
However, it offered the keep its store in the Overgate open until at least 2024 if the council approved its plans.
The company also claims the new store would have created 125 new jobs and said it has been approached by other retailers interested in taking over the two sties it would vacate.
Next first applied for permission to create a megastore in the Kingsway West Retail park in 2013.
When this was rejected it instead built a home and fashion store in Kirkcaldy.
It claims this store employs more staff than all three of its current Dundee outlets and that 10% of its customers come from the Dundee area.
A spokesman for Dundee City Council said: “We have a continuing dialogue with retailers, partners and investors about the most effective way forward for the city centre and retailing generally across the city.
“Retailing performance is regularly monitored and our strategies are reviewed to respond to shopping trends”.