Scotia Global, the data-farm operator that owns the 250-acre site at Johnstonebank Farm, last week appealed against a decision by councillors on August 28 to refuse a routine request for an extension of a permission granted in 2010.
The surprise ruling derailed French multinational Schneider Electric's advanced plans to unveil Europe's first "modular" data centre on December 3, an event planned for two days after a similar launch in the US.
The appeal document summarises the issue by saying: "The planning applications committee effectively found unacceptable a proposal that the council had previously found acceptable despite there having been no change to policy or to the proposal."
The Dumfriesshire site is the only UK one presently capable of hosting the "build-as-you-grow" modular storage system. Without the renewed consent, the showpiece technology - accompanied by a claimed 250 high-paying jobs - is likely to be transferred to another site in Europe.
Under planning law, Dumfries & Galloway Council has the power to reverse the decision by its own elected members, which, unusually, was made against the recommendation of local planning officers.
But as the council is allowed six months to consider the appeal, there are doubts as to whether the permission can be re-instated in time to retain Schneider's commitment to the site.
Scotia Global's spokesman told the Sunday Herald it would concentrate on its other sites in England if Scotland "continued to throw up hurdle after hurdle against jobs and investment".
In another development, the Sunday Herald understands that the Dumfries-based company is preparing to lodge a complaint with the Standards Commission watchdog against Archie Dryburgh, the councillor who led the decision to refuse permission. The company is alleging "abuse of office" by the councillor and "unreasonable bias" against a legitimate investment project.
The Standards Commission is the independent body which encourages high ethical standards in public life through the promotion and enforcement of codes of conduct for councillors.
The appeal document says the reasons Dryburgh led as grounds for refusal - that the developers had failed to develop the site in three years, and that the site is not included in the local plan - also applied to another data-farm site, at Peelhouses, near Lockerbie. Yet he and other councillors voted to approve Peelhouses' extension less than a month after refusing Johstonebank.
In fact, neither the timing of a development, nor the relation between an industrial site and the LDP, is a material consideration in extensions of planning permissions.
Asked to explain why he and cross-party colleagues had rejected one application and approved the other, Dryburgh instead raised for the first time an alleged potential problem with the power supply to the Johnstonebank site.
Questions of power and fibre connectivity have been the subject of due diligence by the investors and by Scottish Enterprise which has designated Johnstonebank as the second-best very large-scale data site in Scotland. Such questions are also immaterial to the planning process.
Dryburgh, a Unite-backed prospective Labour parliamentary candidate for the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale seat, told the Sunday Herald: "You don't understand planning. If you look at the energy that's required for this thing there is no way you are going to get it in Ecclefechan unless you build a new nuclear power station. That energy is required 24 hours a day."
He compared this unfavourably with the Peelhouses site, saying: "If you look at Peelhouses, there is potential there with the [ethylene] gas pipe flowing through it to have a power supply.
"There is potential there because it's not far away from the biomass station at Lockerbie, you've got the infrastructure there, you don't have that at Johnstonebank."
Gordon Mann, chief executive of Dumfries & Galloway Chamber of Commerce and a former chief planner who is supporting the Scotia Global proposal, said that the council's behaviour made the case for intervention "at the highest levels of Scottish Government" to ensure that future strategically significant investment projects were not put at risk by "inconsistent" local decisions.
Dumfries & Galloway Council said on Friday that Scotia Global's appeal will be considered by the council's own legal department rather than an independent reporter, an "in-house" solution that experts say may be designed to save time and money.