Concerns over Edinburgh hotel plan impact on World Heritage status

RESIDENTS of a West End mews say a nearby hotel expansion risks wrecking the character of their quiet street.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 6:34 pm
Haymarket Hub Hotel

Neighbours in Rosebery Crescent Lane are worried plans put their privacy at stake and undermine UNESCO World Heritage status.

The Haymarket Hub Hotel in Clifton Terrace want to build an extra 47 bedrooms, a new kitchen and dining room.

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Haymarket Hub Hotel

Management consultant and resident Paul Hancock, 56, said: “We’re looking after the World Heritage Status - it’s an awful shame others aren’t.

“We live in a beautiful place but it takes all levels of the community to take care of it really - it doesn’t take care of itself.”

Plans for the hotel expansion have been submitted to the city council and so far attracted 45 objections.

Residents are concerned Rosebery Crescent Lane is already used by trucks squeezing their way through an archway - damaging stonework and railings to grade B listed buildings.

The cobbled pavings have sunk under the weight of food, drinks and waste lorries with flooding a regular problem, they add.

“The proposals significantly impact residents’ visual amenity, privacy, increase pollution and noise levels,” added Mr Hancock, of the proposed two-storey extension.

“There is no enhancement to streetscape or planning gain for local residents to offset negative impacts,” he added.

Residents also complain about containers left in a loading bay and bins attracting seagulls.

They also question whether more hotel rooms are needed in the area while similar expansion plans were rejected in nearby Osborne Terrace earlier in the year.

Political representatives have also stepped in to ensure their constituents’ views are heard by planners.

Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West, Christine Jardine, said: “There are a lot of residents with a lot of concerns and I feel it’s my job to listen to those concerns when I can.”

Tory Lothian MSP Gordon Lindhurst, meanwhile, has written to planners in opposition to the plans in their current form.

“Essentially the proposed extension appears to seek to increase the building mass behind the hotel building, and my concern is that the effects on local residents due to the street configuration there will be detrimental to their amenity,” he said.

“The city centre in Edinburgh, particularly in the conservation areas, needs to be preserved and proposals to build should both fit in with and directly contribute to the continuing nature, character and amenity of their location.”

A spokesman for the 195-room Haymarket Hub Hotel said it was “too early” to comment on objections to the plans.