Planning update on the (Former) Royal High School, Edinburgh and New Public Consultation

NTBCC would like to inform the wider community of another Public Consultation on an alternate scheme for the former Royal High School by Duddingston House Properties on Thursday 3 November between 3:00pm and 7:00pm – to be held at the Royal High School (expected to be in the main Thomas Hamilton building).

We would urge everyone who is interested in the future of this site to go along to the consultation to ensure that the wider community’s views are fully represented on this alternate scheme

 To provide some context, it may be helpful to give some background to this latest proposal.

As many of you will be aware the planning application (submitted by Duddingston House Properties and the Urbanist Group), to develop the current site housing the school into a prestigious hotel with two substantial wings of accommodation flanking the main Thomas Hamilton building was refused planning permission by City of Edinburgh Council in December 2015. There were many objections to the scheme from ourselves, other statutory consultees, many heritage bodies as well as the City of Edinburgh Council’s planning officers. In addition, there was widespread and substantial adverse comment from the wider community.

Under current Planning law gives, applicants have the right to appeal an application that has been refused – the applicants submitted an appeal in March 2016.

The appeal process was being progressed by an Inquiry before two Scottish Government-appointed Reporters who would then have made recommendations to Scottish Ministers who would the make the final decision. The inquiry was set to begin in late November.

However, the applicants then successfully requested a ‘sist’ (a temporary cessation of the process of the appeal) to enable them to submit a fresh application for planning permission. This “alternative project” application would also require a further period of public consultation through a Pre-Application Notification. The PAN was lodged and approved by the City of Edinburgh Council in September.

The date for this is now been advised – being 3:00pm – 7:00pm on Thursday November 3rd at the Royal High School.

A copy of the communication received by NTBCC from the agents representing the applicant can be seen here.

The applicants have stated that

For the avoidance of any doubt, the appellants are NOT abandoning nor withdrawing the current appeal. The difference between the projects relates to the balance between the physical scale of the built development and the economic basis of the development and its operational viability. In the current economic climate, these matters are finely balanced and the appellants’ position is that both options are feasible and should be consented.”