'April 1st come early?' - Edinburgh reacts as councillors agree to make section of City Chambers holiday flats

We have been inundated with responses to the news Edinburgh councillors have decided to use part of the City Chambers for 24 holiday flats.

Wednesday, 28th August 2019, 1:33 pm
The section of the City Chambers to be affected. Picture: TSPL

Later City Limited will now transform 329 High Street, next to the Real Mary King's Close and formerly part of City Chambers, into two dozen serviced apartments.

Planning convener Cllr Neil Gardiner formally called for the application to be agreed. He said that it would be 'difficult' to convert the building into permanent housing.

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Edinburgh Evening News readers have reacted overwhelmingly negatively to the news, angered that the council is not using the building to provide much needed housing to reduce homelessness in the city.

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Writing on Facebook, Heether Burns said: "I say homeless veteran flats would be an honour. These guys risked everything to keep us safe."

Isobel Logan agreed, posting: "If they want to make part of this lovely building into accommodation hopefully these places will be offered to our ex-forces people who are homeless. Time to give back to these people."

Allan Squair said: "This has to be a wind up. Let's spend the money on all the empty houses and build more affordable housing for the people born in Edinburgh and Leith. Anyone else agree?"

Joanna Mcluskey said: "Meanwhile we've got homeless living on the streets and families in temporary substandard accommodation. Get you priorities right."

And Paul Krol added: "You can see how they have lost any sense of morals, first option would be housing the people without homes but then they are always last in the minds of these people. Shame on then."

There is a consensus among our readers that this latest decision by Edinburgh is hypocritical and a 'joke' following the authority's recent condemnation of how many AirBnB properties there are in town.

Craig Lumsdaine wrote: "What an utter joke this council are. On one hand, talking about how we need to tackle the housing crisis and potentially cut back on AirBnB etc. Then on the other hand, happy to hoover up the cash on offer. But what else can we expect from them now? Clowns, the lot of them."

Mandy Milne was not the only reader to ask whether the news was a joke. She said: "April 1st come early? What a farce this city is. Need to ditch the people in power."

And Andrew Donaldson summed up the majority verdict with his comment: "Edinburgh Council are becoming a parody of themselves."

However Cara Eunson offered a different point of view. She said: "To be fair, they'd have to massively alter the inside of the building to meet the requirements to make it residential." She added that because the property faces onto "one of the loudest streets in Edinburgh" that it is not ideal for a residential property.

What do YOU make of the plans? Join the debate on our Facebook page.