Midlothian Council rejected the plans to bring KFC and Starbucks to the site at Hardengreen amid fears it would lead to ‘gridlock’ at the roundabout and harm local town centres.
The decision by councillors came after fast food chain McDonald’s had already been granted permission to create its own drive-thru on neighbouring land at the Tesco car park at Hardengreen.
Councillors argued that adding the new restaurants to the area would create unacceptable congestion on Hardengreen roundabout, as well as putting extra pressure on town centre outlets.
However, the firm behind the proposal, SC Dalkeith Ltd, which is based in Glasgow, insisted that the addition of the two major food chain names would enhance the area and bring about 55 retail jobs to Dalkeith.
In their appeal, which is now being investigated by the Scottish Government reporter, developers insist there is no justification in either of the councillors’ reasons for refusal, which went against their own planning officers’ advice.
They said: “It is the view of the appellant that the council’s consideration of potential road impact during determination at the planning committee was based on speculative and unsubstantiated considerations and personal opinions rather than objective assessment.”
During the planning meeting where the proposals were rejected by eight votes to four last November, council leader Derek Milligan said that he was “truly baffled” by the suggestion any development which would bring more traffic to Hardengreen should be considered.
The reporter will now visit the proposed site to consider the case.