Royal High School proposals draw heritage warning

The old Royal High School site is set to be converted into a hotel. Picture: Greg Macvean
The old Royal High School site is set to be converted into a hotel. Picture: Greg Macvean
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RADICAL proposals to transform the historic Royal High School into a luxury hotel is “single-focused plan” to deliver profit, a world heritage advisor has warned.

Susan Denyer, an adviser to the Unesco World Heritage Committee, said the £55 million plans to convert the landmark into a six-star hotel prioritised the potential economic windfall above the cultural significance of the design.

Speaking at a public meeting to debate the development, Mrs Denyer, secretary of the International Council on Monuments and Sites UK, railed against the current hotel plans by Duddingston House Properties (DHP).

She said: “Do they deliver social, cultural, as well as economic benefits? And do they support and strengthen the outstanding universal value [of the city]? In my view, the answer to all of these is no.

“This is what might be called a rather single-focused plan which is being put forward, which delivers economic benefit – but not the wider benefits that are needed.

Duddingston House Properties Ltd could not be reached for comment.