Edinburgh councillors refuse Osborne House hotel plan

Planning permission to convert a 1970s office building within the West Coates area of Edinburgh into a hotel has been rejected for failing to meet council planning policies.

Designs submitted by Comprehensive Design Architects (CDA) on behalf of Yorkshire-based developer S Harrison would have seen a 157-bedroom hotel delivered at Osborne House on Osborne Terrace.

Edinburgh councillors refuse Osborne House hotel plan

In a planning statement submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council, developers said the proposed hotel, which would have also included space for a restaurant and bar on the ground floor, would provide “an additional £2.8 million increase in visitor spending to the city every year, benefiting local businesses and the local economy”.

The current office block has 59 parking spaces, but the proposals saw this reduced to two disabled parking spaces to make way for a rear extension.

Planning officers had recommended the proposal for approval but the council’s development management sub-committee rejected the scheme, saying it didn’t meet five of its planning policies.

Edinburgh councillors refuse Osborne House hotel plan

The Edinburgh Evening News reports that Cllr Joanna Mowat labelled the plans “too much development on the site at the expense of amenity” and raised fears about proposals for an “outdoor beer garden next to someone’s house”.

She added: “These concerns have been raised by residents and nothing addresses them. There’s concern about having a hotel in the areas because of the impact other hotels have had in terms of parking, servicing and deliveries.

“The servicing requirements of a hotel is much greater than an office block. I’m astonished that we have got to this stage in the process.”

Edinburgh councillors refuse Osborne House hotel plan

Cllr Mowat also quizzed officers about the suitability of HGVs travelling down cobbled side streets to service the hotel.

Planning convener Cllr Neil Gardiner pointed out some positives to the scheme, notably the links to Haymarket Station, but also supported the plans being refused.

He added: “I do have concerns about the impact of the vehicles in narrow residential streets.”

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