Video: Hotel plan set to be approved for old BHS building

A BID to transform the old BHS on Princes Street into shops, a hotel and restaurant is expected to win planning permission tomorrow after just one objection.

Anticipated to be finished in just two years, planning officials have recommended the project be given the green light by councillors.

An artist impression of proposed BHS development

An artist impression of proposed BHS development

The plans, which include Princes Street’s first-ever rooftop restaurant and bar, could create 300 jobs and bring around £50 million worth of investment to the city centre.

Steve Spray, of LaSalle Investment Management, which is leading the project on behalf of building owners the British Coal Pension Fund, said: “Following an extremely constructive dialogue with the council and heritage groups we welcome planning officers’ positive recommendation.

“These proposals would bring a range of positive benefits and new life to the former BHS store in Princes Street.

“Edinburgh is a world-class tourism destination and our proposals for new shopping and a hotel will enhance its offer.

“The rooftop bar and restaurant will add a new ‘must-visit’ destination which will have some of the world’s finest urban views, of the castle and the historic Old Town.

And the proposal has been recommended based on the building’s “respectful” design with officials stating it was “reflective of the historic context of the city”.

As part of the recommendation the developers will contribute £183,192 towards the tram and £290,000 towards upgrading a section of Rose Street.

Since the collapse of BHS in April 2016, the site – with a nod to its previous tenants – has been temporarily filled by Scottish Home Stores, stocking tourist souvenirs, homeware and clothes and will now be transformed into a five-storey hotel topped with a restaurant.

The Rose Street extension to the store will be demolished and a new building constructed with two ground-floor restaurants or retail units and the hotel entrance.

“The proposed redevelopment of the former BHS site on Princes is to be hugely welcomed,” said Roddy Smith, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh. “It is an iconic site on our main street and the mix of retail, hotel and leisure space will compliment and add to the balance of uses across Princes and Rose Street.

“With the on-going developments in the east end of the city centre including The Registers, St Andrew Square and Edinburgh St James the huge investment being made by the developers at 64 Princes Street is important for the city centre as it will help show how Princes Street can evolve and develop like the rest of the city centre.

“The investment is a great boost to our city centre, and the interest shown by potential tenants is testament to the quality development and key location offered.