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Caltongate approved despite threat to Edinburgh World Heritage status

A contentious redevelopment by Allan Murray Architects (AMA) in Edinburgh's Old Town has been given the green light, despite criticism from the city's World Heritage watchdog.

Yesterday, councillors agreed to back the £180 million Caltongate scheme, which will create the first new street in the historic area since the 19th century.

There will now be eight weeks of public consultation on the competition-winning, mixed-use scheme, stretching between Waverley Valley and the new parliament building.

The project has been condemned by a number of key conservation bodies since it was unveiled last October.

Edinburgh World Heritage has already named it as one of four major new developments - such as Foster and Partners' Quartermile proposals - which could threaten the Scottish capital's world heritage status (AJ Plus 8/12/05).

AMA's current plans include a 'new urban square' lined with shops, cafes and cultural spaces. There are also plans for a 200-bed five-star hotel as well as offices and artists' studios on the site of the former New Street bus depot.

by Richard Waite

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