Unesco hits out at plans for tall hotel

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WORLD heritage body Unesco has strongly criticised plans for a 17-storey hotel in the Capital.

The UN body said it had "considerable concern about the height of the hotel in the Haymarket development" at a public inquiry into the 200 million project.

In its report released to the inquiry yesterday, Unesco wrote: "The proposed 17-storey hotel would have a major visual impact on the property and dominate the St Mary's Cathedral towers from several key viewpoints."

The two-week public inquiry into the project at the disused Morrison Street goods yard, which includes two hotels, restaurants, offices and shops, got underway on Monday.

Critics include Edinburgh World Heritage, the Cockburn Association and residents' groups, who say they are not opposed to the redevelopment of the site, but stress that the height of the five-star hotel, located at the edge of a World Heritage site, is out of scale with surrounding buildings.