Rose Street church could be hotel after pub bid axed

The Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Rose Street. Picture: Kate Chandler
The Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Rose Street. Picture: Kate Chandler
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A FOUR-STAR hotel is set to open in a historic church venue after previous plans for a controversial “superpub” were kicked out.

Developers have unveiled plans to turn Charlotte Baptist Chapel – a grade B-listed, 20th-century building in Rose Street – into a 22-bedroom boutique operation.

If approved, the 16,486sq ft site will also house Edinburgh’s first dedicated steak and gin bar.

Glendola Leisure Group is working with sister company Carlton Hotel Collection, and a full planning application is due for submission by mid-August.

Chapel leaders, meanwhile, are pressing ahead with plans to move their congregation from Rose Street to St George’s West Church in Shandwick Place.

Bosses at Glendola originally wanted to convert the chapel into an Irish-themed Waxy O’Connor’s pub with capacity for 900 drinkers.

But the blueprints were opposed by locals and eventually voted down by councillors.

Political leaders today said the fresh plans – which have already been viewed by the public – were a “great deal better” than what was proposed previously.

Councillor Alasdair Rankin, SNP member for the city centre, said: “It’s the same company and they have taken on board the result of the last planning committee.

“What they have come forward with is something that will be a lot more acceptable to local residents. There will be less noise, fewer people and it will be less likely there will be people congregating outside smoking.

“I’ve not had any representations from residents or even businesses in the way I did over the superpub proposal.”

Developers said early 
reaction indicated their proposal had the backing of businesses and residents in Rose Street.

Alexander Salussolia, managing director at Glendola Leisure Group, said: “We are fully aware of the historic status of the Charlotte Baptist Chapel and we intend to be responsible stewards of that heritage.

“Through our successful Carlton and Bar & Beef brands, we are bringing a premium hotel and restaurant offering to Rose Street, which we believe will be very attractive to both residents and the city’s expanding tourism population.”

Deirdre McCarthy, planning consultant for JLL, said: 
“Development within the city centre has recently been focused on the East End.

“The redevelopment of 204 Rose Street is a great opportunity to introduce new vibrancy and activity at the west end of this iconic street in a building which is otherwise due to become vacant when the church community move out to their new premises in March next year.

“Feedback from the public consultation was positive and the proposals have been broadly welcomed by the local community.”

No-one at the chapel was available for comment.