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Richard Murphy's Edinburgh hotel blocked


Scottish ministers have rejected plans to build a luxury hotel designed by Richard Murphy Architects as part of a £250m project in Edinburgh

The 17-storey building had been approved by councillors but the Scottish Government said the site would affect views of the city’s world-famous castle.

The hotel was planned as the centrepiece of a £250 million overhaul of a four-acre site next to Haymarket railway station in Edinburgh that has been derelict for 40 years. The scheme had faced repeated criticism from Architecture and Design Scotland during its troubled history.

A report said: ‘In urban design terms, the landmark five-star hotel would fail to respect the grain and scale of the surrounding townscape, dominating the Haymarket space to the detriment of its neighbours.’

It added: ‘The impact on the city skyline would not preserve the setting of the world heritage site or prominent listed buildings which are landmark features within it.’

In June this year - apparently in response to Murphy’s plans and another £300 million Old Town scheme - Unesco called for the creation of a ‘buffer zone’ to introduce strict controls over developments just outside the city’s world heritage site.

Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce said the decision to reject the Tiger Developments proposal was an ‘enormous setback’.

Graham Birse, from the Chamber of Commerce said: ‘By reaching this conclusion ministers have done nothing to encourage sustainable development in our capital city at a time when the longest recession in living memory is making deep and painful inroads into our economy.

‘This project was ready to roll, and offered £250m investment, 2,150 jobs and a five-star hotel.’


Should the scheme have been rejected?

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Readers' comments (21)

  • Well, how not very interesting. The word 'witless' still certainly applies to you. And wet.

    Quite amusing in one way though, as shows you still haven't a clue about a great deal. We know who the joke's on.

    But holding conversations with yourself now? All quite, quite the saddo.

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  • What an utterly spiteful and horribly vindictive blog.

    Martha N

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  • Another humourless architect are you? Or are you simply someone without any wider view of the situation in Edinburgh, or knowledge of those being pilloried?

    Those who have find it amusing. Very amusing.

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  • http://independentrepublicofthecanongate.blogspot.com/2009/10/keep-on-blogging-in-free-world.html

    How a blogger brought down a local council.

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  • New Edinburgh; What Could That Be?


    Last year Scott Sutherland students looked at the UNESCO World Heritage Site that doubles as the capital city of Scotland and is, according to Penny Lewis "hamstrung by its cultural heritage and under constant scrutiny from the world's self-appointed cultural guardians" [Architect's Journal, 13th August 2009].

    This year, students will carry out a detailed analysis of the development of a new town, taking the proposition that Edinburgh is "more or less complete".

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  • God, Dunlop! do you want Millicent Fritton aka Buttress to burst a blood vessel? Sounds good, I'll look forward to seeing how things develop.

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  • Yawn. The grown ups have gone elsewhere to debate this.

    Shame really that Dunlop messed that up. His students lost out. He has no idea.

    I suppose he will continue to peddle his bizarre ideas to a generation of 'impressionable' minds.

    Some of them produced far more exciting and interesting stuff than he ever could.

    Penny Lewis - well, not all agree with her. That's the Penny Lewis who penned the vanity publication about Dunlop and his pal Murray?

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  • The Penny Lewis who is a tutor alongside Alan Dunlop?

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  • looks like another interesting brief alan, edinburgh could do with some fresh thinking. good luck


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  • Looking at what Murphy had planned for Edinburgh, it's a good thing there are 'cultural guardians', although the Reporter who recommended refusal was actually appointed by the government.

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