A DECISION to appeal the refusal of planning permission for a McDonald's and petrol station in Kelty has been slammed by concerned residents.

The appeal to the Scottish Government reporter was lodged earlier this month after the plans – which were branded as "unacceptable" by Fife councillors – were refused in November last year.

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.

However, one of the objectors, Lucy Hatchell, said she was "angry" to learn about the appeal.

"There are a lot of institutions that raised concerns about the development hence Fife Council denied it," she said. "The fact they think they can take it to a government appeal, it wastes resources, time and money and, at worst, they could overthrow the decision and I think that would be a disaster.

"Blairadam forest is a beautiful spot. To put another services within an eight mile stretch of the motorway in an area of natural beauty seems absolutely outrageous.

"Environmental issues are one of the most significant issues of our time, we need to make decisions that are not just good for our generation but the generations to come. Rubbish, noise and disturbance here will ruin an area of natural beauty so close to Blairadam forest and Loch Fitty.

"No motorway needs services at almost every junction and extensions for more services have already been granted at two adjacent junctions."

Beechbank Crescent resident Claire Brennan says was "unsurprised" to see the appeal lodged and expressed concerns over the impact the proposals would have on the area's greenspace.

"We have seen quite a lot of expansion in Kelty in terms of housing and it has not really got the infrastructure to support it," she said. "I cannot see how it is balanced having a drive through Mcdonalds. How is that supporting the community? It is not.

"Post pandemic people have realised that health is really important and it s not in keeping with the Scottish Government obesity strategy. It is a juxtaposition having people coming to these places for exercise and fresh air and encouraging car use and large vehicles.

"It is a drive through so I think people are going to drive in and park up at Blairadam Forest and at the St Ninian's site and eat their food and throw their waste out. We are going to have issues with litter, vermin, we are going to have issues with it potentially affecting wildlife.

"It is literally a five minute drive to go to that Asda or to Duloch. At Duloch, there's leisure facilities and lots of choices in terms of fast food."

A submission on the behalf of the developers to the government's planning and environmental appeals division said, if permitted, the plans will bring the site back into wider active economic use and make a positive contribution to the local economy.

"This in turn is expected to create sufficient draw to support the reestablishment of a farm shop type operation within the existing building," it stated. "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 applicant said it refuted the reasons for refusal, adding that its plans complied with council policy and has "significant material considerations in its favour".

A decision on the appeal is expected in May.