Edinburgh approves Princes Street restaurant and hotel plan

Plans to transform the New Look store on Edinburgh’s Princes Street into a restaurant and hotel extension have been given the green light.

Edinburgh approves Princes Street restaurant and hotel plan

Image: Google Street View

Premier Inn owner Whitbread will expand its existing hotel into the adjacent retail unit to create 59 new rooms and a 387 sqm ground floor restaurant.

LaSalle Investment Management’s application is the first granted for a new restaurant in Princes Street since changes to guidance which allows greater flexibility for non-retail use applications in the city centre were introduced earlier this year. 

The City of Edinburgh Council planners said in the site report: “In this busy, commercial city centre location where there are many existing restaurants, cafes and bars, the restaurant use will not cause any significant disruption for nearby residents.”

The report added that “development is therefore acceptable in principle”.

The planning statement by property consultants Montagu Evans said the plans would help keep footfall high on Princes Street

It added: “By way of background, the property is currently occupied by New Look who are due to vacate the premises.

“There is a perceived anticipation of further contraction of occupier demand for Princes Street, which could well be further exacerbated by the opening of the completed St James Centre in 2021.

“In summary, with the way the market is moving and the natural gravitation of occupier demand for the east end of the city centre, the west end of Princes Street will only become a vibrant and successful location if a variety of different uses are accommodated and allowed to thrive.

“The proposals seek to change the use of and re-develop the lower ground, ground, and first floors of the building to accommodate an extension to the existing hotel together with the development of a new restaurant at ground floor level.”

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