This is how the planning system usually operates in Scotland when a Council rejects an application.
Step 1: developer applies
Step 2: Council considers application
Step 3: Council rejects application
Step 4: Developer appeals
Step 5: A reporter is appointed to hear the appeal
Step 6: ministers decide based on the reporter’s decision.
BUt some developers don’t want to appeal (see here and here) and threaten to walk away because the appeal will take too long (and their lawyers advise the planners accordingly). Such developers prefer the call-in option to be exercised by ministers because they are advised (by whom?) that it will be quicker than an appeal (despite also involving steps 5 and 6). And such developers like to seek the advice of the constituency MSP (and first minister) to explain the planning process because their legal team (one of the biggest firms in Scotland) and their previous meetings with the chief planner have obviously not given clarity as to how planning matters proceed. And speak to this MSP for 45 minutes – about the procedural process, despite having previous regular contact with the chief planner, and the constituency MP being the one man in the country that – apparently – could not help with the application given his dual role as constituency MSP and first minister.
ETA I should explain that the Trump evidence to the Local Government committee was ignored last week in the midst of the toing and froing over the Scottish budget. The official report of the committee evidence has just gone on-line. All of the links in the large paragraph are to the Trump team evidence to the Parliament.