Call to strip city heritage status

The old Royal High School is set to become a hotel
The old Royal High School is set to become a hotel
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A LEADING conservationist is calling on Unesco to remove Edinburgh of its world heritage status after a number of “architectural blunders”.

David Black – the first chairman of Edinburgh’s Southside Association – is compiling a report on what he sees as planning decisions which are destroying Edinburgh’s historic cityscape.

His report is to be sent to Unesco’s New York HQ next month in a bid to have the city’s prestigious status, which it has had since 1995, removed.

Mr Black said: “At the time [1995], Edinburgh was seen as a prime example of an old town and new town co-existing well. But since then we have seen one poor planning decision after another, from St Andrew Square to the Parliament building and Princes Street.

“This is not just some old fogey talking who doesn’t like anything modern. I like the Festival Theatre, for example. But I think there is a balance to be struck between preserving the best of the new – and what we’re getting generally is not the best.”

He said the latest architectural disaster to hit the city is the plan to transform the 190-year -old Royal High School into a five-star hotel.

City planning leader Councillor Ian Perry said: “Our status is something the council takes very seriously, and we will continue to support and work closely with Historic Scotland and Edinburgh World Heritage to maintain this.”