PLANS for a drive-thru McDonald's restaurant and a petrol station on the outskirts of Kelty are "unacceptable" and should be refused, say Fife Council planning officers.

The joint applicants – land owner Ian Maclellan and TG Convenience Stores Ltd – say the proposals for the Kathellan Home Farm site at junction 4 of the M90 would create 130 jobs but the recommendation to councillors is that they shouldn't be approved.

Members of the council's west and central planning committee will meet on Wednesday to determine the application.

A report to the committee by planning officer Jamie Penman states: "The application proposal for a petrol filling station and drive-thru restaurant has failed to demonstrate a proven need for a countryside location.

"Whilst the desire for it to be located next to the M90 motorway network is accepted, insufficient information has been submitted to support a strategic need for such a development and thereby justify its countryside location.

"Significant concerns are also raised with regard to both road and pedestrian safety.

"The application is therefore unacceptable and therefore contrary to FIFEplan policies."

He said the application should be refused as it would have "a significant detrimental impact on the character of the countryside", the applicants have "failed to demonstrate that all possible alternative sites have been suitably explored" and "failed to demonstrate that a safe pedestrian link between the application site and Kelty can be provided".

Mr Penman said the applicants' failure to come up with a suitable junction arrangement, between the site and the B914, would "result in a significantly detrimental impact on road safety" and there was insufficient information supplied about the impact on air quality.

His report added: "Whilst the economic benefits of the proposal are noted, these do not outweigh the concerns relation to the unjustified development within the countryside."

The site of the proposed Blairadam Forest roadside services is just to the west of Kelty, south of the B914, and includes the overspill car park for the former Baxters restaurant and deli and an area of agricultural land.

If approved, it will be open 24 hours a day, Monday to Sunday.

The McDonald’s restaurant would have 100 covers, 40 parking spaces and eight cycle spaces, as well as a “fast forward” lane in the drive-thru.

The petrol station would also have a separate HGV refuelling area with parking.

A statement on the applicants' behalf, by agents Graham and Sibbald, said: "The development will bring the site back into active economic use and make a positive contribution to the local economy by restoring jobs and the passing trade that has been absent since the Baxters facility closed.”

There were 22 objections to the plans, concerns included noise, road safety, increased litter, air pollution, the negative effect on an ancient woodland, light pollution and the "unsustainable" location.

However there were also 74 letters of support, highlighting the economic benefits through investment and jobs, the boost to tourism, Kelty's need for this type of development and the suitability of the location.

A previous application was tabled in May 2021 but it was withdrawn and re-submitted in April after potential problems including pedestrian safety, lack of electric vehicle charging points, noise, air quality and drainage were raised.