Gleneagles Hotel objects to Edinburgh concert hall plans over noise concerns

The former Bank of Scotland premises will become a Gleneagles hotel
The former Bank of Scotland premises will become a Gleneagles hotel
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The historic Gleneagles estate, which is developing a hotel in the Capital, has objected to a bid to build a concert hall on its doorstep over noise concerns.

Management at the Gleneagles Edinburgh Hotel, which is set to open on the east side of St Andrew Square, lodged a letter of objection to proposals to build the first concert hall in the city for more than 100 years – the Impact Centre.

Councillors will consider the application for the Impact Centre at a hearing on Thursday April 24. If approved, the 1,000-seat auditorium will also include a 200-seat studio for performances, rehearsals education and conferences. The open foyer will host music performances and a cafe bar. If plans are given the green light, it will become the home of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and used as a venue for the Edinburgh International Festival.

Ennismore, owner of Gleneagles, is transforming two empty premises at St Andrew Square into a 33-bedroom hotel. The hotel has lodged an objection against the Impact Centre plans after the concert hall paperwork failed to recognise the hotel as potentially being affected by noise.

Charles Harte, project director for The Gleneagles Hotel, said: “Whilst checking recently provided additional reports for the Impact development, we noted that the noise impact assessment fails to identify Gleneagles Hotel as a noise sensitive neighbour.

“We’re creating a world class facility for guests from all over the world. All we’re seeking to ensure is that the impact for our guests of any proposals is fairly and properly assessed and consistent with environmental policies and standards.”

He added: “Gleneagles is a world leading 5 star brand and we believe that it’s vital that all the information on the application is properly gathered and that the correct procedures are followed in this regard.

“We hope to discuss with Impact and their team so that all neighbours interests are fairly recognised and appropriately provisioned in these reports, albeit this will now be retrospectively.”

The noise impact assessment, resubmitted in February points to neighbouring properties – but make no mention of the Gleneagles Hotel development. Serviced apartments being developed at 42 St Andrew Square, which are further away from the Impact Centre than the Gleneagles Hotel, as well as flats as the adjacent St James Square and the W hotel at the St James development are all mentioned and had noise sensitive receptors.

The proposals have received the backing of heritage watchdog, the Cockburn Association, which “welcomes and supports the ambitious plans”

A letter to planners added: “In our view this project has a very real potential to make a significant positive contribution to the artistic life of the city and to act as a transformative catalyst for the economic, social and artistic revitalisation of the streets, lanes and businesses that surround it.

“Within the constraints of the available site, the proposed concert hall is an effective and positive use of space.”