Members of the public are given opportunity to comment on revised proposal to restore an iconic former Royal High School building in to a world-class hotel.
The Public Exhibition will be held on site on Thursday 3rd November 2016 between 3 - 7 PM.
Should you wish to comment but you are unable to attend please leave your feedback here.
The exhibition boards displayed during the event are available here.
Statement from Duddingston House Properties and Urbanist Group
David Orr, Chair of Urbanist Group, said:
"Members of the public and interested groups will be able to see our revised design for restoring the Old Royal High School and reinvigorating the public space around this side of Calton Hill. Significant modifications have been made to the scale of our plan. We have made changes to the scale of the hotel following a series of design workshops earlier this year with planning officials, taking careful consideration of heritage aspects and public comment from our previous proposals.
The design combines the sensitive, fully-funded restoration of an architectural masterpiece, currently at risk, with the creation of a world-class place for people from around the globe to experience the best of Scotland.
The building's architectural significance links back to the Scottish Enlightenment and the projection across the globe of Scottish thinking in science, philosophy, economy and the arts. The worldliness and ambition that underpinned that great age is an essence we want to draw upon in creating with Rosewood Hotels a space in which all that is truly excellent in Scottish food, culture and music can be celebrated with the rest of the world.
By creating over 250 jobs in the hotel alone we are combining cultural and social benefits with direct economic and career opportunities for local people."
Following an open procurement competition the City of Edinburgh Council awarded DHP the exclusive right to bring forward a plan to restore the former Royal High School building and attract a world-class hotel to the city.
2009: City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) runs public competition to identify a future use for the building.
2010: Duddingston House Properties (DHP) awarded 'preferred developer' status, with the task of delivering a hotel of international standing.
2013: Partnership formed with Urbanist Hotels to attract an international hotel operator and secure investment for the project.
2014: Legal agreements with CEC signed
2014/2015: World-class operator secured. Public consultation involving key stakeholders and general public undertaken.
2015: Fully-funded planning application submitted
While the details of this award comply with OJEU procurement rules in full, there has been a degree of misunderstanding about whether a proposal to convert the old Royal High building into a music school could somehow be considered alongside the restoration and hotel plan. In order to clarify the process to date and make the current status of the proposals clear, a summary opinion on the matter from an independent QC is published below.
"There has been much debate over the future of the former Royal High School building. Applications for Planning permission and listed building consent submitted by Duddingston House Properties (DHP) and Urbanist Hotels for the former Royal High School are currently before the City of Edinburgh Council.
The developers of the hotel proposal submitted their applications at the beginning of September on the basis of DHP's selection by the Council in February 2010 as the preferred developer. This was the result of an open, 11 month-long competitive public procurement process, carried out under European Commission rules and involving 54 competing developers. DHP was the successful party and their appointment was confirmed at meetings of the council's Economic Development Committee in December 2013 and ratified by the Finance and Resources Committee in January 2014.
DHP was selected to specifically deliver 'a hotel of international standing' with a minimum number of bedrooms. A long-term contractual commitment between DHP and the council is set out in a contract, under which DHP has acquired certain rights and the Council undertakes certain obligations.
The people behind the Royal High School Preservation Trust are experienced in property matters and will be well aware of these contractual provisions. In declaring its own proposals, the Trust is seeking to give the impression that there is an ongoing architectural competition. This is not the case.
The contractual arrangements between DHP and the council are firm and binding long-term, and simply don't allow others to 'step-in' if the current application should, for some unforeseen reason, not be approved in December. The alternative 'development' now being put forward is a deliberate misdescription, and designed to distract from the DHP/Urbanist proposals.
The Council must honour its obligations under its legal agreement with DHP by eschewing any suggestion of a competition and dealing with the current applications in a timely way. If the applications are refused, the legal agreement allows for submission of an Appeal. If unsuccessful, the council would need to restart the procurement exercise from the very beginning."
- John Campbell QC
An article in the Scotsman newspaper today (28/10/15) featured selected comments taken from a report produced after a workshop held involving key stakeholders earlier this year in May 2015.
The reporter who produced the story contacted the development team to seek comment, but chose to omit a section of the response provided in the published piece.
In the interests of balance we have provided it in full below:
David Orr, co-founder and chairman of Urbanist Hotels said: "These comments were raised as part of the comprehensive public consultation and were recognised in fundamental changes made to the design in the months following it.
The review published by Architecture and Design Scotland in September 2015, which also involved all of the key stakeholders, not only supported the proposals submitted for planning but described them as well-considered and having addressed matters raised by other consultees during the design forum process.
We are very pleased with this thoughtful design and believe our fully-funded proposal for a Rosewood Hotel, with all the benefits it will bring not just to Edinburgh but the whole of Scotland, is the only sustainable solution for this important building."
The planning application has now been submitted and we would urge interested parties to read this comprehensive and extensive document, some 1,500 pages of which are available here on this website.
We accept that there will always different opinions on the nature of the designs and uses for buildings, but in this proposal Hamilton's original building will be fully restored without any interventions and a valuable new asset provided for the benefit of both the Edinburgh and wider Scottish economy.
The majority of people living in Edinburgh are in favour of turning Edinburgh's former Royal High School into a world-class hotel, according to a recent survey. The research found that 88% of people support a luxury hotel on the Calton Hill site while 83% support the designs submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council for planning approval.
Scott Porter, an authoritative independent research company, was commissioned to survey a representative sample of the population in all Edinburgh postcodes, including people of different ages and income brackets. They put together questions asking people if they were in favour, in principle, of developing the site as a world-class hotel and whether or not they approved of the specific designs that have been submitted to the council. The positive response was consistent across all demographics.
This comprehensive survey has been submitted as part of robust, fully-funded plans to restore the former Royal High School building and bring a new world-class hotel to Edinburgh.
Please click here to see the full survey results.
New architectural designs by Hoskins Architects for the proposed world-class hotel at Edinburgh's former Royal High School have been revealed and the operator partner confirmed within a planning application submitted to City of Edinburgh Council today.
Gareth Hoskins, the architect for the project, says the new designs respond to the comments made by heritage organisations and the public during the comprehensive consultation process earlier in the year. "We've listened and taken on board views from a wide range of organisations and individuals through the pre-planning process to develop a fundamentally different design for the site. The design focuses around an informed restoration of the central Hamilton-designed building, repairing its decaying fabric and maintaining the strong sculptural presence of its frontage without intervention. The existing building will be entirely given over to the public areas of the new hotel allowing its spaces to be fully accessible for the first time in the building's history.
Please click here to read the full press release.
More pictures of proposed development can be found in the Gallery.
This article was published in the Broughton Spurtle on 16 January 2015 and covers the current condition of the building as well as touching on the plans for its restoration and conversion
Please click here to read the article.
Members of the public have expressed clear support for proposals to turn Edinburgh's old Royal High School into a world-class hotel following a two day public consultation earlier this month which attracted more than 580 people. Half of these visitors completed a feedback questionnaire which revealed that 75.8% of them were generally in favour of the redevelopment proposals, with 75.7% agreeing that a world-class hotel would be an appropriate use for the well-known Edinburgh landmark. For many people, this was the first access they have had to the former boys' school, with a large number of respondents expressing concern about the deterioration of the main building.
An even greater majority of respondents, 80.7%, supported the removal of later ancillary buildings on the site. In particular 93.6% of people liked the idea of improvements to the Regent Road area and the prospect of a new management plan for improving the Calton Hill amenities.
These figures represent the response from the people who filled in the questionnaire during the two day public consultation period and submitted an online form by 27th February.
There will be an exhibition of the further developed proposals on 5 and 6 March 2015 from 10am - 7pm at the old Royal High School prior to an application being submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council for planning consent in April.
The public will have the opportunity to view and comment on proposals to restore Edinburgh's old Royal High School into a world-class hotel this week. As part of the public consultation process the developers, Duddingston House Properties and the Urbanist group along with Gareth Hoskins Architects, are inviting the public into the old Royal High School on Friday and Saturday (6 & 7 February) to see and discuss the proposals with the project team. For many people, this will be the first time they will have had access to one of Edinburgh's most famous landmarks, designed by Thomas Hamilton, since it opened as a boy's school in 1829.
The display at the old Royal High School will include initial impressions, by award-winning architect Gareth Hoskins, of how the hotel might best be accommodated on the nearly three acre site.
The old Royal High School will be open for the public consultation from 12pm until 7pm on Friday 6 February and from 11am - 5pm on Saturday 7 February. There will then be an exhibition of the further developed proposals on 5 & 6 March 2015 from 12pm - 7pm at the old Royal High School prior to an application being submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council for planning consent at a later date.
Please click here to see the brochure.
Hundreds of people took the opportunity to step inside Edinburgh's old Royal High School for the first time to look at the proposals to convert the building into a world-class hotel.
Over the course of two days nearly 600 people came to the building to view the initial plans and designs, speak with the developers and architects and also give their opinions on the proposals.
The displays at the old Royal High School included initial impressions, by award-winning architect Gareth Hoskins, of how the new hotel might best be accommodated on the site. As part of the proposals, Hamilton's centrepiece building, one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the world, will be sensitively restored with minimum intervention and given a new context to benefit the setting of the building and of Calton Hill itself.
An exhibition of further developed proposals incorporating feedback from the first consultation will take place at the old Royal High School on 5 and 6 March prior to a planning and listed building consents application being submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council in April.
The results of the consultation survey are available here.
Earlier this week David Orr from the Urbanist Group, one of the developers behind the Old Royal High School project, took the time to answer some questions from the leading architecture industry magazine, Architects Journal.
What kind of schemes are you currently working on and where have you come from?
We're working with the City of Edinburgh to realise the shared ambition to see Thomas Hamilton's Royal High School returned to sustainable use and regain rightful prominence as an exceptional building in the city.
The full extract of the interview can be found here.
This week Bruce Findlay, former pupil and once manager world famous rock band Simple Minds, expressed his opinion plans to transform his former school into a world-class hotel
Peter Dobie, a pupil from 1957-1970, also took the time to write to the Edinburgh Evening News to offered his thoughts on the plans
Time to end Edinburgh's disgrace at Royal High
"I was brought up in Edinburgh and was always told by my family and teachers that the relics on the Calton Hill were "Edinburgh's Disgrace
A long time ago I proudly attended school in a building that lives in the shadows of our collective disgrace - The Royal High School.
In 1968, along with many contemporaries, we attended a service in the Canongate Kirk to mark the end of the school's chapter at Regent Road and a move to the suburbs at Barnton..."