ORHS Decisions of Appeals Expected Soon

POSTED ON June 9, 2020

In September 2018, the Cockburn Association together with the New Town & Broughton Community Council and Edinburgh World Heritage participated in a major planning inquiry into the rejected applications to convert it into a luxury 6-star Art Hotel.

Almost two years later, we understand that the report and recommendations prepared by the Department of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) has now been given to Scottish Ministers decision. This will be taken by Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning.

We have prepared a short paper outlining our involvement in the hotel development proposals, and the Old Royal High School over the years.

We have also prepared a short video clip – https://youtu.be/J_Jrctvt-jw – which we’ve added to our Facebook pages and twitter accounts and to our You Tube channel. A longer version is also available too, and outlines some of the issues that emerged from the Public Inquiry.

As we consider what decision Scottish Ministers might arrive at, events have materially changed. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the City’s tourism and hotel sector, and most indications suggest that it will take years before any significant recovery is in place. However, even before the pandemic, the Edinburgh Hotel Association reported that there was now an oversupply of hotel bed spaces, making for challenging trading conditions during the entire year bar the height of the Festival season.

The Cockburn Association calls on Scottish Ministers to dismiss the appeal and therefore end the hotel proposal. The alternative proposal to convert Thomas Hamilton’s Greek Revival masterpiece into a new home for the St Mary’s Music School remains in waiting.

Image that appears on this item is copyright Douglas Vernimmin. Thanks for the use!

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