Former Royal High School Inquiry Starting Soon

Former Royal High School Inquiry Starting Soon

Updates on the Former Royal High School Inquiry.

Edinburgh's iconic Royal High School under threat

The planning inquiry into two proposed developments to turn the former Royal High School on Calton Hill in Edinburgh into a luxury hotel starts on Tuesday 18th September, 2018.

Two reporters have been appointed, Scott Ferrie and Danny Onn, and they will hear the appeal against the refusal of both proposed hotel schemes. The first scheme is for a hotel of 147 bedrooms, and was refused planning permission in December 2015. Then the developers brought forward a second scheme, with a slightly reduced 127 bedrooms, but again, this proposal was knocked back by the City of Edinburgh’s  planning committee. Our position is that the scale of the proposed development overwhelms and dominates the iconic Royal High School Building and damages a beautiful, historic and valuable collection of buildings on Calton Hill.  This is one of the jewels in Edinburgh’s crown, and is one of the important and most recognisable, buildings of the world.

This is going to be a great matter for the Society. We have employed a solicitor to represent us,  Louise Cockburn of DC2 Planning , who is an experienced planning lawyer, and we have two impressive witnesses in Peter Drummond and John Lowrey, who are donating  their valuable  time and expertise to us, and that time has already been, and will continue to be, considerable. We have a team of volunteers backing our witnesses who are also working very hard to provide a strong public presence for the Society and all are doing their best to ensure that these ill advised extensions to the Royal High School do not leave the drawing board. The appeal is also being opposed by the City of Edinburgh Council, Historic Environment Scotland, a coalition of the Cockburn Association,  Edinburgh World Heritage and the New Town and Broughton Community Council, the Royal High School Preservation Trust, who have an alternative proposal for a new building for St Mary’s Music School, the Regent, Royal and Calton Terraces and Mews Association and three concerned individual Edinburgh citizens.

We are very grateful for all the donations we have received to date from our generous members, but we still require more money to cover the considerable costs involved in this complex inquiry.

Please consider donating to the AHSS to help us meet these costs – any amount is gratefully received.

Either send a cheque to the National Office or donate online: