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?