All of the written deputations for Thursday’s Finance & Resources committee are centred around one matter – the discussion of what the City of Edinburgh Council might do with the former Royal High School.

This building vacated over half a century ago has been the subject of counter planning applications and planning appeals, but there is at present no way out of the administrative complications which surround it. The council has granted a lease to Duddingston House Properties, who are fronted by Urbanist Hotels. They did not get the planning permission they wanted to create a luxury hotel.

The successful planning applicant was the Royal High School Preservation Trust. They want to create a music school there, but they have no right to occupy the building at present and perhaps for as long as another twelve months.

Cllr Gavin Corbett raised the matter of so-called ‘meanwhile uses’ for the Greek Revival building at the council’s December meeting, and asked for a report by the end of January to review options. It is hoped that some of these might help address some of the security problems there. This matter will be discussed on Thursday as a response to Cllr Corbett’s demand, but it is difficult to know what they will say as it is to be discussed privately and off camera.

The deputations are mainly from the Music School, with only a short written statement by David Orr of Urbanist Hotels saying that they want to apply for a refined hotel permission which they say is consistent with the council’s planning brief for the site.

Others who contribute to the opposing music school bid include the New Town and Broughton Community Council, Royal High School Preservation Trust, the Cockburn Association and Edinburgh World Heritage.

Watch the webcast of the rest of this meeting on Thursday from 10.00am Click here.

Royal High School. Photo: Martin P. McAdam
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