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Edinburgh World Heritage/News/Old Royal High School – hotel developer appeal dismissed by Scottish Government

Old Royal High School – hotel developer appeal dismissed by Scottish Government


27th October 2020

Rebecca Leary

Edinburgh World Heritage welcomes the decision of the Scottish Government to dismiss the appeal of Duddingston House Properties, and refuse planning permission for the proposed luxury hotel on the site of the Old Royal High School. This was always a highly insensitive commercial development which would have been deeply damaging to an internationally recognised masterpiece of Greek Revival architecture, as well as to the designed landscape setting of Calton Hill, and to the visible contrast between the Old and New Towns which can be experienced in this area of outstanding national importance.

Christina Sinclair, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage, commented: ‘good development in the World Heritage Site is about managing change – understanding, conserving and enhancing the heritage values that we all enjoy and benefit from. Had there been a proposal for an appropriate reuse of the Old Royal High School, which understood and creatively conserved and enhanced its heritage values, it would have had our full support. However, this development would have caused serious harm to the World Heritage Site, and we warmly welcome the decision of the Scottish Ministers’.

Edinburgh World Heritage would like to thank the many individuals and groups who have supported us, both financially and in many other ways, during this long, drawn out battle. This decision gives us confidence that the systems of protection in Scotland are working, and that our nation’s precious heritage will be conserved for current and future generations.

Feature image by vandesign

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