Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s ordinary meeting, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 13 March 2017 at 7.30pm
As well as the normal items, the agenda includes a presentation and Q & A on the revised hotel proposal for the former Royal High School by Duddingston House Properties and Urbanist Hotels development team – see planning application 17/00588/FUL. with representatives from Urbanist Hotels, Hoskins Architects and Sorrell Associates.
In addition, given the various news items on the proposed closure of Leith Street (between Waterloo Place and Calton Road) which is scheduled for discussion at next weeks Edinburgh Council Transport & Environment Committee, we will also be hearing from Donald Anderson (who is working with Henderson Global regarding the St James Centre) about the justification and background to the proposed closure of Leith Street for 44 weeks, starting after this year's Edinburgh Festival. More details can be found here.
Following on from the Public Consultation in November 2016 for the proposed re-development of Edinburgh’s former Royal High School into a luxury hotel, the developer (Duddingston House Properties / Urbanist Hotel group) have unveiled a scaled-back vision for the site (see Edinburgh Planning portal reference 17/00588/FUL). New plans lodged with the city council for the project reveal that it will now have 127 rooms (20 fewer than before). The new submission’s stated aims are to pursue their original vision “to restore the unique building to prominence” and “create a world-class hotel of international standing”.
The original proposal was rejected by the Council planning officials and elected Councillors in late 2015 after the majority of heritage bodies and many residents (including the New town and Broughton Community Council ) objected to the scale of the development proposed and the adverse impact on the setting of this important listed building.
A parallel application to restore the building as a home for the St Mary’s Music School already has planning consent but cannot proceed due to contractual arrangements between Edinburgh Council and Duddingston House Properties.
Whilst we fully support in principle any scheme that will restore and safeguard the long-term future of this building , what was shown at the November public Consultation was not in our view sufficient to dispel the significant concerns we had with the previous proposal. That said, we are currently examining the planning application carefully before making our detailed response and we have extended an invitation to the developers to discuss these proposals in more detail with NTBCC and are awaiting their response.
We will communicate more details in the next few days but would urge everyone who is interested in the building’s future to examine these proposals and express their views to Edinburgh Council before 24 March.
Let us know what you think by contacting us through our website or attending our meeting on Monday 13 March.