PLANS to transform the old Royal High School in Edinburgh into a hotel have gained “significant” support from the public.
A 5,000-person survey believed to be the largest polling exercise of its kind ever carried out in Scotland found that more than 90 per cent back the scheme to redevelop the Calton Hill site.
The result comes despite more than 2,000 objections being lodged with the city council amid fears the design jeopardises the Capital’s Unesco World Heritage Site status.
Bruce Hare, of developer Duddingston House Properties (DHP), said: “This is by far the biggest public survey ever done on a major application in Scotland. Even political polls are usually one or two thousand and that covers the whole of Scotland.
“The people of Edinburgh have now spoken and is the general not going to listen to his army?”
Two six-storey extensions on either side of the landmark have provoked criticism from heritage groups.
Historic Scotland has claimed the wings would “overwhelm” the building, while Edinburgh World Heritage said the plans would ruin “an outstanding piece of neoclassical architecture”.
It is estimated the hotel could generate £32 million a year for the Scottish economy.