A COMPANY that was knocked back in its bid to turn a disused Dundee factory into a football centre has appealed the decision.
Active Soccer wants to convert a former factory building at Forties Road, in Baldovie Industrial Estate, into an indoor football and multi-sports centre.
It had applied to Dundee City Council for planning permission for the project, but, in September, the development management committee voted 12 to eight in favour of rejecting the bid.
It was deemed that the project would go against council policy, which states that the unit can only be used for business, general industry or storage and distribution purposes.
In addition, some councillors felt that it was the wrong location, with the proposed centre being close to an incinerator facility that attracts heavy goods vehicles.
The council also said that the applicant hadn’t demonstrated that this specific location was required for the centre — and that there were no other available sites within existing leisure parks.
This was despite the centre previously having been approved for a go-karting centre — and the applicant offering to hand the centre back to the council should an industrial use for it be found in future years.
Active Soccer has now appealed to the Scottish Government. In a statement submitted to Holyrood, the company said it had already “clearly demonstrated” the reasons for this site being chosen.
Active Soccer argues that the council has “consistently approved” similar applications for sporting facilities within industrial units in Dundee.
The firm says planners had identified a clear difference between the football use and the go-karting use, but Active Soccer claims that this is a “modern technicality” and that both represent leisure use of the building.
The former Wood Group factory site was at the centre of a blaze in July after it was set alight by suspected firebugs.
Despite that, Brian Smith — Active Soccer’s Dundee director — vowed to push ahead with the project.
A final decision on the appeal will lie with a Scottish Government reporter later this year.