An appeal to the Scottish Government to build a roadside services complex on the A90 has been rejected.
Plans for a petrol station, hotel, cafe and restaurant on the outskirts of Luthermuir, near Laurencekirk, were refused by councillors last year.
Members of the Aberdeenshire infrastructure services committee (ISC) voted against the plan in June over road safety concerns.
Members of Kincardine and Mearns area committee voted seven to five to refer the application to the ISC, with a recommendation for approval after a lengthy debate in May.
But councillors on the ISC said drivers would be forced to cross the A90 dual carriageway at a narrow junction to reach the facilities.
Luther Farm Services, the firm behind the scheme, appealed to Scottish Government against the decision.
An independent economic impact assessment report submitted to Aberdeenshire Council said the complex could create more than 100 jobs and generate up to £3.2 million a year for the north-east economy.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
Halliday Fraser Munro, agent for the developer, had said there was no evidence to support road concerns – the reason for its rejection.
Now, however, Holyrood has sided with the local authority and refused the development.
In the decision notice, Claire Milne, who made the ruling, said: “I dismiss the appeal and refuse planning permission in principle.
“The council considers public transport links to the site to be limited and walking and cycling is not a realistic option for employees or visitors.
“In considering the location of the site and its fundamental purpose as roadside services, the appellant accepts that walking would be a very limited mode of travel.
“I agree that walking and also cycling would not be attractive options, given the distances from existing settlements, the condition of the surrounding road network and that the A90 creates a barrier to crossing safely.”
She added: “While I understand the locational arguments made for roadside services, both walking and cycling should still be attractive choices for staff and visitors to the development.
“I do not accept the argument that the proposed development would fulfil the primary function as roadside services.
“The proposal would also represent tourism development in the countryside and would not relate well to settlements, would not be well-connected or reduce the need to travel and I am not satisfied it would provide adequate measures to ensure road safety.
“Any net economic and social benefits would not be sufficient to overcome these fundamental concerns.”
Halliday Fraser Munro and Luther Farm Services were contacted for comment but did not respond.