AN appeal has been submitted to the Scottish Government after Fife Council refused permission for a McDonald's drive-thru and a petrol station at Kelty.

Councillors on the central and west planning committee rejected the "unacceptable" plans in November but the applicants have sought help from Holyrood in overturning the decision.

Land owner Ian Maclellan and TG Convenience Stores Ltd want to develop the Kathellan Home Farm site at junction 4 of the M90 and said the roadside services would create 72 full-time equivalent jobs and inject £1.5 million into the local economy.

A submission on their behalf to the government's planning and environmental appeals division states: "The development will bring the site back into wider active economic use and make a positive contribution to the local economy by restoring the jobs and passing trade that has been absent since the Baxters facility closed.

"This in turn is expected to create sufficient draw to support the reestablishment of a farm shop type operation within the existing building.

"McDonald’s has been secured as the operator of the freestanding restaurant and drive-thru.

"SGN Ltd has been secured as the operator of the petrol filling station."

The site of the proposed Blairadam Forest roadside services is west of Kelty – outside the boundary of the village – and the M90 and south of the B914.

It includes the overspill car park for the former Baxters restaurant and the aim is to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Despite 74 letters of support, the committee rejected the application and gave six reasons.

However, in the grounds for appeal, the applicant "refutes the reasons given for refusal", said their plans comply with council policy and has "significant material considerations in its favour".

Their agents, Graham and Sibbald, added: "The application received significant public support, with the delivery of jobs, economic activity and the potential to redevelop the former class 1 and class 3 use at the Home Farm site noted as common areas of support.

"The application did not receive objections from any statutory consultees besides the council’s own transport development management team.

"Amendments to the site road and pedestrian access were proposed to address these concerns, but were not supported by Fife Council."

Council officers had recommended refusal and planner Jamie Penman told the committee it was an "unjustified development in the countryside" and there was "no strategic need" for it.

He had added: "Development in the countryside is only acceptable in certain circumstances, including where it's an extension to an established business or where there's a proven need for a countryside location.

"The development falls into neither of those two categories.

"Whilst there is an existing commercial premises within the site, the proposals for a petrol station and drive-thru restaurant are not related to the existing use in any meaningful way."

Mr Penman said there was no safe pedestrian route from Kelty and noted other road safety concerns regarding the junctions needed to access the site.

A decision on the appeal is expected in May.