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Team behind Hoskins' Calton Hill plans lodges appeal

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The developers behind contentious plans to convert the city’s Royal High School into a 147-room hotel have lodged a last minute appeal against the decision to reject the scheme

In December, the City of Edinburgh Council’s planning committee narrowly voted to throw out the proposed revamp of Thomas Hamilton’s 1829 building on Calton Hill designed by the late Gareth Hoskins.

However, as the three month appeal deadline loomed last week, project backers Duddingston House Properties and the Urbanist Group submitted appeals against both the refusal of planning and listing building consents to the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division of the Scottish Government.

In a statement, the pair said: ‘[We can] confirm that [we] have lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government following the decision by the City of Edinburgh Council to reject [our] planning application to restore the Old Royal High School and create a world-class hotel to be operated by Rosewood.’

The council now has 21 days to respond to the appeal and submit documents supporting their argument.

The authority’s development management sub-committee agreed with its officers’ recommendations to reject the project which was  resubmitted for planning in September following a ‘fundamental’ rethink.

In their report council planners said they feared the £75 million plans would cause ’permanent and irreversible damage’ to the city’s skyline.

The document added: ’Put simply, too much building is proposed.’

Originally conceived as a ‘referential’ colonnaded addition to the Neo-classical former school, Hoskins had reworked his designs for the Grade A-listed landmark in part to appease conservationists.

Despite these revisions the plans were poorly received by the heritage lobby with SAVE Britain’s Heritage claiming the proposals were ’inappropriate and insensitive’.

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