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Historic Edinburgh buildings added to conservation register

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The Scottish Civic Trust has added 16 historic buildings in Edinburgh to its Buildings at Risk register.

The move will be identified by the city's architectural community as more evidence of a growing militancy among local conservationists.

The city council has said it will do everything possible to ensure the buildings, which are among Edinburgh's 4,500 listed buildings, will be preserved.

Among the buildings are the White House, a two-storey Art-Deco pub built in 1936 (pictured); Duke Street Congregational Church, built in the late 19th century; and the Infirmary Street Baths, which was previously dropped from the list, only to be added once again.

Councillor Brian Fallon, the city council's executive member for property and business management, said: 'The council recognises the importance of the buildings in the city to the international reputation of Edinburgh as a visitor destination.

'The council has a property conservation section dedicated to the repair of buildings in the city, which works closely with private owners to ensure that necessary repairs are carried out.'

He added: 'While it is up to owners to inspect their own buildings, the council has a major role to play in raising awareness of these responsibilities and, through our Safe Buildings Initiative, we are tackling this as a priority.'

Many community leaders are calling for compulsory purchase orders to be pursued over some of the buildings immediately, especially the White House pub in Craigmillar.

However, the Scottish Civic Trust says it has faith in the council's judgement, when it comes to preserving the buildings.

Sonya Linkskaill, a technical officer with the Scottish Civic Trust said: 'We are pleased to see the council is reviewing the at-risk properties and will identify buildings that require to be added to the register. We rely on local authorities' judgement and work with them to identify buildings at risk.'

by Richard Vaughan

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