Developer lodges late appeal against controversial Edinburgh hotel

Artist's impression of the Rosewood Hotel proposal on the site of Edinburgh's Royal High School. Picture: Contributed
Artist's impression of the Rosewood Hotel proposal on the site of Edinburgh's Royal High School. Picture: Contributed
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Developers behind a controversial hotel project at the centre of a probe into Edinburgh’s world heritage site have mounted an eleventh-hour appeal.

The Scottish Government will be asked to rule on the £75 million scheme earmarked for the former Royal High School on Calton Hill.

An appeal has been lodged just before an official deadline despite city planning officials and heritage bodies delivering damning verdicts on the hotel, which would see six-storey extensions built next to the existing landmark.

Duddingston House Properties and the Urbanist Group had their vision for the A-listed building thrown out by councillors in December after a storm of controversy over the proposed designs.

It later emerged that the project was one of several cited in a damning dossier to world heritage body Unesco, which has said it is “deeply worried” over the quality of new developments in the city.

READ MORE: Royal High School hotel bid rejected by Edinburgh Council

An alternative proposal has been lodged with the council to convert the old Royal High, which has been largely unused since 1968, into a new home for a music school and a concert hall for the city.

The developers behind the hotel scheme - which has been in development for six years - had been expected to return to the drawing board due to the level of opposition to the project. They have agreed a long-term lease of the building, which is subject to planning permission being secured.

Unesco intervened earlier this year after a team of international advisors warned them of a “significant threat” from new developments in Edinburgh.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites said the Royal High hotel project, which attracted more than 2000 objections, “should not be approved.”

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