Councillors have backed plans to build a new service station near Laurencekirk, paving the way for the creation of 30 new jobs.
A J Developments had applied to Aberdeenshire Council seeking planning permission in principle for the facility.
The development, to be located next to the A90/A937 junction, is expected to include retail units, a restaurant, a ten-bay petrol station and a 100-bed hotel.
The initial proposal states the site would also feature a children’s play area, toilets and parking as well as charging for electric vehicles.
The development is expected to create 30 new jobs.
The addition of two drive-thru restaurants and a drive-thru coffee shop to the site had also been proposed, however these plans were later removed.
The new development will be constructed separately to the Scottish Government’s A90/A937 Junction Improvement Scheme.
Mearns Community Council supported the application but raised concerns over “safe” pedestrian access to Denlethen Wood and the diversion of vehicles should an accident occur on the A90.
Council planners recommended the plan be approved stating the proposed hotel would “cater for a gap in the current market” following the closure of facilities in and around Laurencekirk over recent years.
They also said the development could be constructed “without detriment” to the character of the surrounding area and would provide “clear public economic benefits” by creating local jobs.
At Tuesday’s meeting councillor George Carr moved a motion in support of the application and said he believes the new facility would help the town and wider area.
He said: “The 100-bed hotel could well be a great advantage for the Mearns, it provides an anchor for people to stop off then forage out to support and enjoy other businesses and communities that would greatly benefit from this development.”
Provost Bill Howatson backed the motion and the committee agreed to refer the application to the Infrastructure Services Committee for determination.
Reporting by Local Democracy Reporter Kirstie Topp