Developers have scrapped controversial plans to demolish a well-known family restaurant and clear the way for dozens of retirement homes.
Juniper Residential revealed its bid to build 60 properties on the site of Scone’s Wheel Inn earlier this year.
The company struck a deal to take over the pub and restaurant if its bid for planning permission was successful. Now, bosses have formally withdrawn their application.
No one at the firm was available to explain why the scheme has been abandoned, but the decision comes after criticism from Perth and Kinross Council officers, who raised concerns about a lack of detail on how the scheme could impact on already-worrying air quality levels.
Juniper Residential also faced a mounting backlash from local residents. Scone and District Community Council – which fought against plans for 700 homes at nearby North Scone – said in a statement the Wheel Inn was regarded as an important asset for the village.
It is unclear whether the entire project has been aborted, or if revised plans could be submitted at a future date.
In a letter to the council’s development quality manager, a spokesman for the housing and environment department said: “The location of the proposed development is approximately 750 metres from a Local Air Quality Management Area (LAQM) and this department is concerned that an increase in vehicle movements on and off the site has the potential to impact on local air quality objectives.
“In relation to the traffic flows along the A94, I would advise that this road is likely to see an increase in traffic due to the residential development at North Scone, which has permission for 100 houses to be built before the opening of the Cross Tay Link Road.”
He added: “I would advise that no information has been provided to demonstrate how estimated vehicle movements for the the new development have been calculated.”
Nearly 30 people objected to the proposal.
Community council chairwoman Vanessa Shand said: “It’s not a brownfield site, it’s a business which is still running. What if developers take the same approach to other shops and businesses in Scone and turn them into housing?
“We will have nothing left and it will become a dormitory for Perth. We need to think to the future and make sure Scone can be sustained as a village in its own right.”
At a public consultation event earlier this summer, Juniper’s land development manager Cameron McCallum said: “There is a huge demand for this type of housing in the Scone area. The growing ageing population has been a key factor in our decision.”
He added: “I know people are concerned about a loss of amenity, but there are a number of projects… such as a Scone Arms and a new wine bar at the old Bank of Scotland.”
The Wheel Inn was at the centre of another controversy earlier this year, when it welcomed its new manager. Stuart Shearer took the reins at the pub just weeks after he closed down his previous venue, the Lovat Hotel, without warning.