For Everyone
Who Loves Edinburgh

PLANNING MATTERS - August update

Posted on 19 Aug 2015 by Marion

There are a significant number of major developments taking place across the city at the moment. Here is a brief update. You will find more on our facebook page and twitter which are updated daily..


Edinburgh St James

£850 million project to redevelop the St James Shopping Centre, King James Hotel and New St Andrew’s House, delivering approximately 50,000m2 of retail space; 14,000m2 of food and drink space; 3,000m2 of leisure space; a 210-bedroom hotel; a 52-bedroom apart-hotel; 143 residential units; parking and ancillary elements.

  • Planning permission has been granted for the ‘Ribbon’ Hotel against the planning officer’s recommendation to refuse and fears that it will damage the Outstanding Universal Value of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site
  • The main buildings will be clad in limestone, planning officers had recommended the use of sandstone

The Cockburn Association spoke at both hearings objecting to the use of limestone and asking for refinements to the hotel proposal. Our letters of objection.

  • The hearing on compulsory purchase orders for the delivery of the development is expected to be held in late summer/early autumn 2015.
  • The existing shopping centre is expected to close following the Christmas trading period with demolition beginning in spring 2016.


1 – 6 Canonmills Bridge

There is a current application to demolish 1-6 Canonmills Bridge, presently operating as Earthy Canonmills.
If approved, the site will be redeveloped as a mixed use (retail/café and residential) 4 storey block, according to plans ALREADY APPROVED by the council. The local community is campaigning to persuade the planning committee of the value of the existing building to the area, permission to demolish CAN BE REFUSED and the approved new-build can still be stopped. There is a public meeting on 24 August, 7.00 pm at the Baptist Church, 14 Canonmills and the hearing will be held on 26 August at the City Chambers. The Cockburn will speak at the hearing to object to the demolition.


Former Royal High School

Category A-listed

Following a competition process the Council entered into a conditional exclusive contract to grant Duddingston House Properties a 125 year lease over the property to deliver a ‘hotel of international standing’. The contract is conditional on Duddingston House Properties making a full planning application by October 2015 and securing planning and listed building consent within 18 months thereafter.

  • A proposal of application notice was submitted by Duddingston House Properties in January 2015 (15/00223/PAN).
  •  A second proposal of application notice was submitted by the Royal High School Preservation Trust in May 2015 (15/02381/PAN).


3–8 St Andrew Square

A development of grade-A office space, retail space and apartments.


  • Six restaurants have been confirmed but none have been officially named to date.
  • Drake and Morgan, a London-based privately owned bar and restaurant group, has expressed an interest in one of the units.

The Cockburn association objected to the demolition of the listed buildings that made way for this development.


New Waverley (Caltongate)

Mixed use development with residential accommodation, a civic square and retail and leisure facilities, including hotels.

  • The topping out event for the first two hotels took place on Wednesday 10 June.
  • Marketing materials for restaurant and retail opportunities have been released.
  • An agreement has been reached on the New Waverley Community Fund; the application process is now open with not-for-profit groups eligible to apply for grants of up to £25,000 for projects that will enhance the New Waverley area.


Donaldson’s College

Category A-listed former school and hospital to be developed as luxury residential accommodation with a new build crescent to be developed at the rear of the building.

  • Two Listed Building Consents (15/02641/LBC and 15/02593/LBC) were submitted in June along with a full planning application (15/02642/FUL) for the alteration and extension to the East and West Gatehouses.



The Forsyth Sphere

We have been working with Lost Edinburgh to seek enforcement on the return of the sphere to Princes Street’s skyline. We understand that work is in progress for its reinstatement in Spring 2016. This was a successful campaign to encourage the City Council to serve an enforcement notice.






Strategic Development Plan 2

SESPlan are now preparing the second SDP. A Main Issues Report (MIR)  has been prepared highlighting the key challenges facing the region over the next 20 years and presents a series of issues and options on how to address them. The MIR consultation is taking place until 30 September 2015.  

The Cockburn Association is preparing a response with particular concerns raised over the continuing erosion of Edinburgh’s Green belt.