A church group has been blocked from building a new place of worship on the edge of Perth.
Planning chiefs have rejected ambitious proposals by the Perth Gospel Trust to establish a 50-capacity base at Kinfauns.
The trust, which is affiliated with the global Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, already has a hall for up to 800 worshippers at Bridge of Earn. It wanted a second site at Walnut Grove, for smaller gatherings closer to some members’ homes.
However, Perth and Kinross Council officials have rejected the scheme, raising concerns that neighbours could be annoyed by music and singing.
Planners ruled that the project went against the approved development plan for the region and ruled that the site should be keep as an “open space” buffer between the busy A90 and the quieter Kinfauns area.
A church spokesman told The Courier: “We are disappointed by the recent decision and the trustees will be considering the options available to them in the coming weeks.
“Until any further plans are finalised, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”
In his report, a spokesman for the council’s planning department said: “Environmental Health are concerned that there is the potential for noise from daily operations of the gospel hall to affect existing neighbouring residential properties, especially from vehicle movements from early morning services and from amplified and non-amplified music and singing, if not properly managed or controlled.”
He added: “Although the use of the site would be intermittent, the impact of the parking area and timber building would change the open character of the land and have an adverse impact on the visual amenity that would lead to erosion of the landscape buffer between the A90 trunk road and the built development at Kinfauns.”
In its proposal, the church organisation states: “The trust has purchased the subject land to enable it to offer smaller-scale, smaller-group gatherings on an ‘as-required’ basis, for worship and as complementary to the main gospel hall at Wicks o’ Baiglie Road – for a capacity of up to 50 visitors.
“It is not intended to make the proposed worship hall a regular meeting place, the frequency of use and nature of operations will be limited.”
The trust has lodged separate but similar plans for a 40-capacity place of worship at Old Edinburgh Road in Bridge of Earn. A decision on that planning application has still to be made.