This morning’s Economic Development committee has give the approval to three key sites in the city this morning, but the one which will be most visible will be the five metre high Olympic Rings which are to be erected on The Mound quite near the Castle.

Contrary to much speculation in the press over recent months, and as a consequence of Historic Scotland denying the Olympic organisers the right to put up the rings at the Castle which was their preferred site, there will be now an Olympic presence in the capital. Planning application number  12/00593/FUL was for the:-

Erection for a temporary podium for display of the Olympic rings and paralympic agitos.
at Land 37 Metres North Of Assembly Hall 2 Mound Place Edinburgh

Our photo shows the Christmas Tree being put up at The Mound just before Christmas and from the application details it is clear that the rings will go up in the same location and that they will be visible from Princes Street.

The committee also approved the giant Ferris Wheel which is to be sited at the West End of Princes Street Gardens following much discussion, and contrary to the wishes of two Councillors, Mowat and Peacock, who both voted against it.  One fact, which was perhaps instrumental in the proposal attracting approval, was that the operators have suggested that they will  give 50p from each ticket  to the West End traders organisation and also to the unemployed . The Ferris wheel will operate from now till October.

It will be dismantled during October in advance of Edinburgh’s Christmas starting up the following month. Historic Scotland had not formally objected to wheel because it was temporary, although they did express misgivings about it. One point which was discussed at length during the meeting was that the wheel will be sited in the valley of Princes Street Gardens and questions were raised about how good the views from it will actually be. It will possibly be no different from those you can get if you climb all the way up to the castle.

The Vice Convenor of the Economic Development committee, Councillor Tim McKay welcomed the approval for the visitor attraction in the gardens and said:-“The ferris wheel is a good thing for the West End traders. It will take people along to the West End and of course the traders are now to benefit financially too.”

Approval was given for the development at The Raeburn Place Hotel which was approved by 7 votes to 5 and which went against the recommendation of planning officials.