Planning permission granted to turn Princes Street BHS into hotel

Artists impression of proposed BHS development.
Artists impression of proposed BHS development.
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Building could begin in weeks to transform the old BHS on Princes Street into a hotel and restaurant after councillors voted unanimously for the development to go ahead.

Work to strip out the building could begin within just four weeks with the opening expected by 2019.

The 133 bedroom hotel will be topped by a restaurant with terrace creating spectacular views across Edinburgh’s Old Town, Castle and Princes Street Gardens.

The shopping space below will be revamped, while the Rose Street extension to the store will be demolished and a new building constructed.

The proposals will also bring added life and vibrancy to Rose Street with new, glass fronted restaurants at basement and street level

Cllr Alex Lunn welcomed the decision: “This is one of the most exciting developments to come to the committee recently.

“I was delighted to support it as I believe this will bring a fresh dynamic to Princes Street with the added benefit of the creation of hundreds of jobs.”

Consent for the category ‘B’ listed building was turned around in four months, which fund manager Steve Spray, said is down to the work of City of Edinburgh Council and local heritage groups.

He said: “With their assistance we think we have struck a balance between the protecting the heritage and economic development to deliver a significant enhancement to Princes Street. This is a huge opportunity to create a flagship retail store at number 64 and much more besides. I have no doubt that the rooftop restaurant will become one of the foremost destinations in the city for both residents and visitors.”

“These proposals will bring a range benefits and new life to the former BHS store. Edinburgh is a world class tourist destination and our plans for new shopping and a hotel will enhance this 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.

“The development will represent a major investment of c£50million in the heart of the World Heritage Site and should create around 400 jobs. Our aim is to begin work as quickly as possible and open within two years.”