‘Overwhelming’ public support for Edinburgh’s Royal High School hotel plan

Royal High School hotel mainPlans to transform the old Royal High School into a £75 million hotel have “overwhelming” support from the public, according to the largest polling exercise of its kind ever carried out in Scotland.

A total of 5,000 people across 12 city wards were quizzed on the plans, the fourth such consultation to be carried out since the project began, with 93 per cent agreeing that a hotel was a suitable end-use and 92 per cent backing the proposed Hoskins Architects design.

The findings come despite more than 2,000 objections being lodged with the City of Edinburgh Council amid fears the design could jeopardise the Capital’s Unesco World Heritage Site status.

When asked whether the proposal would have a positive or neutral impact on Edinburgh’s world heritage status, support from respondents dropped to 78 per cent.

The survey found that seven per cent of those consulted were not supportive of the hotel plans but the overwhelming majority of city residents were keen to see the £75 million proposals go ahead.

Carried out by consultant Scott Porter Research & Marketing, the poll appears to demonstrate city-wide support for the scheme ahead of next month’s key planning meeting on December 17.

In their report Scott Porter Research & Marketing wrote: “The Ward consultation shows the vast majority are in favour of the development, with only a very small minority not in favour in each Ward. Results are consistent across all Wards and mirror the positive results of the previous phases. They demonstrate a clear and unambiguous picture. There is also only a small minority in each Ward who feel that the proposal would produce a negative effect on Edinburgh’s World Heritage Status, indicating that this is not seen as an issue.”

Bruce Hare, boss of Duddingston House Properties (DHP), the developers behind the project, said: “The results have given us the confidence that we have been going down the right track all along. This is by far the biggest public survey ever done on a major application in Scotland. Even political polls are usually one or two thousand and that covers the whole of Scotland.

“The people of Edinburgh have now spoken and is the general not going to listen to his army?”

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