The old royal high school is on the open market

The former Royal High School has stood empty for over half a century and was the subject of a foiled bid to create a six-star hotel amid a planning feud that spanned nearly five of those years .

A decision by the council’s finance and resources committee in January to put the building on the open market is now being implemented and inquiries are being invited.

Any proposal must take into account the conclusions drawn by Scottish ministers following the public inquiry.

The main planning requests proposed a hotel use that would ensure “the repair, rehabilitation and protection of the main listed building, Hamilton’s masterpiece of Greek Revival architecture for Northern Athens”, and thus contribute to the economy.

But Scottish ministers said the building’s interior and exterior redevelopment would not preserve the listed building or its setting. They also believed that the character and appearance of the New Town of Edinburgh Conservation Area would not be “preserved or enhanced”.

The developer of the hotel had proposed to build two wings on the main building, which was a major obstacle to the granting of the authorization for the hotel. The opposing permission for the Royal High School Preservation Trust to turn the building into a music school was not based on a legal right to occupy the building, and the council decided to return to the open market for new proposals.

Councilor Rob Munn, Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee, said: “This is an important step forward for the future of this iconic site and means we can identify the best value option for the community. city ​​and our residents in the future. We know there are a number of interested parties and its re-market allows them to submit development proposals.

Councilor Joan Griffiths, Vice Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee, added: “There was unanimous agreement earlier in the year to bring the old Royal High School back to market and I look forward to seeing the options that will be presented to us at a future committee that could occupy this very important building, so important in our World Heritage site.

The Royal High School. Edinburgh. Photo: © 2021, Martin P. McAdam

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