Save the Royal High School

The City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) Development Management Sub-Committee unanimously rejected the second hotel application on Thursday 31st August 2017, damning the proposal as ‘abhorrent and ugly’. This decision has now been appealed by the developers, Duddingston House Properties (DHP).

View the heavily redacted CEC Lease with DHP here.

Despite efforts from heritage bodies all over the UK, the threat to the former Royal High School in Edinburgh has not gone away. As of the 21st February 2017 a new, highly damaging, hotel proposal threatens to ruin Edinburgh’s cityscape forever.

Designed by Scotland’s pioneering architect, Thomas Hamilton and constructed 1825-29, the former Royal High School is the jewel in Edinburgh’s crown.

No current use, is no reason for a highly damaging use.

View the presentations from our Public Meeting here

The first hotel proposal from Duddingston House Properties (DHP) was damned by Historic Environment Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council head planners, and heritage groups across the country. It was refused by the council, appealed, and is now part of an Inquiry process. This has been paused in order to consider a second hotel proposal. View details here.

The second hotel proposal is a great disappointment. Not only has the advice from planning and heritage professionals been ignored, the views of the public have been set aside. This is not the only option, the right use can be found.

Over 1500 members of the public objected to the first proposal. The second proposal received well over 3000 objections thanks to the efforts of heritage groups and concerned citizens.

Indeed, the Royal High School Preservation Trust has proposed a viable alternative, to form a new home for St Mary’s Music School, which has full consent from the council. However, as DHP has first option on the site, they have no right to the building.

Edinburgh's iconic Royal High School under threat

Object Online!

The 24th March deadline has now passed.

Visit Edinburgh City Council Planning Portal

Thank you to everyone who submitted an objection! There are two applications for the same proposal and we asked that you object to both by entering the reference numbers below and objecting to each one individually.


It was important that input included ‘material objections’, so examples of these were provided in our How to Object information sheet.

Object in Writing

It was also possible to object in writing to Carla Parkes and Euan McMeeken at the address below.

Planning Department
City of Edinburgh Council
4 East Market Street
Edinburgh EH8 8BG

Need Help?

If you need any help at all, please contact the AHSS on 0131 557 0019,

Read our Objection Letter

Have a read of our Forth & Borders Cases Panel letter here.

Drop-In Surgery

The Cockburn Association hosted a successful drop-in surgery wherein they provided advice and assistance in writing objection letters.


There are a number of ways to help us Save the Royal High School.

Enjoy world-class music at the Save the Royal High School Fundraising Concert and Reception on June 8th. Pianists Malcolm Martineau and Steven Osborne, with eminent soprano Lorna Anderson, will perform works by Beethoven and Schubert. Tickets are £45 each and include the post-concert reception. Please visit the event webpage for information on how to purchase tickets.

Spread awareness to friends, family and colleagues and contact your MSPs. Get in touch to volunteer your time to support the campaign. Join the AHSS to support our work in Speaking for Scotland’s Buildings. Donate to our RHS Appeal Fund.

Download our handy tools

Download: How to Object
A straightforward guide on how to write your letter

Download: Blank Objection Letter
Already addressed and ready to go!