Royal High hotel plan objectors submit more than 1300 letters

One of the proposals for the Royal High building. Contributed
One of the proposals for the Royal High building. Contributed
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Campaigners fighting against a fresh application to change the old Royal High School site into a hotel have registered more than 1300 letters of objection to the blueprints.

A revised application for the iconic A-listed building on Calton Hill has been submitted by developers Duddingston House Properties (DHP).

Alexander McCall Smith is against the development of a hotel. Picture; Phil Wilkinson

Alexander McCall Smith is against the development of a hotel. Picture; Phil Wilkinson

Letters of objection to the council planning department now number 1362, with 192 comments in support of the revised hotel design.

The campaign hopes to “influence those with the capacity to decide the building’s future to reject insensitive, damaging commercial plans for a hotel on the site and clear the way for proposals to reinstate it as a world class seat of education and cultural performance venue that everyone in Scotland can be proud of”.

The Architectural Heritage Society Scotland (AHSS), one group behind the campaign, slammed the revised design proposal saying it will “irretrievably damage one of the most important Greek Revival buildings in the UK and, by extension, the set-piece of Calton Hill, which lies at the core of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site”.

The deadline for public letters of objection or support is Friday March 24.

How the site will look if development goes ahead.

How the site will look if development goes ahead.

Councillors turned down proposals for a 147-bedroom hotel at the site in 2015, but the developers have appealed and also submitted a revised application for a scaled-down version of the hotel.

Carol Nimmo, chairman of the Regent, Royal, Carlton and Mews Association, who also support the campaign against the DHP hotel development, said: “This proposal ignores design principles and is a danger to Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site.

“If it is approved it will completely alter the landscape.

“The iconic view known by so manywill never look the same if the hotel is built. It is a disastrous scheme and highly damaging.”

Author Alexander McCall-Smith, who also objected to DHP’s original proposal, has again backed the campaign.

The developers have also asked the Scottish Government to override the city council decision.

Decisions on planning applications in Scotland are normally determined at a local level by the council.