Submitted by Editor on Wed, 17/08/2016 - 13:47

Councillors on the Development Management Sub-Committee this afternoon granted planning permission and listed building consent for the St Mary’s Music School modification of the old Royal High School at 5–7 Regent Road (see Breaking news, 15.8.16). 

Officials had earlier reported that the proposal should be judged in terms of multiple determining issues:

  • principle of development
  • impacts on the listed buildings
  • impact on the conservation area
  • impact on the landscape
  • impact on views
  • impact on the Edinburgh World Heritage Site
  • design
  • impact on trees
  • impact on neighbouring amenities
  • impact on transport and road safety
  • impact of archaeology
  • impact on geology
  • economic impacts
  • cultural impact
  • impacts on surface water run-off
  • infrastructure requirements
  • the environmental statement
  • sustainability
  • impacts on equalities and rights
  • representations have been considered.

Revisions and conditions

Officials recommended the removal or redesign of cupolas, glass barriers around the portico, and rejected the removal of some internal columns. Measures to prevent ‘noise break-out’ and describe in greater detail the preservation of the geology were required. In other respects, they found the proposal acceptable and recommended approval.

Cllr Joanna Mowat (Ward 11) sought clarification on the ‘significant intervention’ that had caused her anxious moments at 3am in the morning: the proposed portico’s ‘fritted glazed slot’. She was told Historic Environment Scotland had withdrawn their objections following the developer’s substantial revision of plans for this feature.

With very little fuss and no further questions, councillors then unanimously granted planning and listed building consents.

Don't hold your breath

A new music school will not spring up here any time soon.

Duddingston House Properties is appealing the Council’s refusal of planning consent for its luxury hotel scheme, and – if unsuccessful on that front – has until 2022 to come forward with an alternative plan.

To address that 2022 deadline, councillors also granted permission for the St Mary’s Music School scheme to postpone starting work on the site for seven years.


Peter Matthews Retweeted Broughton Spurtle

Does this mean the RHS site could end up having two extant planning permissions on it?

Broughton Spurtle ‏@theSpurtle

@urbaneprofessor Only St Mary's has permissions. But hotel developer is appealing refusal & has till 2022 to come up with acceptable scheme.

@theSpurtle exactly, so if appeal is successful, the site could have two accepted applications vying to start.

@urbaneprofessor In which case, hotel developer would have first dibs.

@theSpurtle@urbaneprofessor Unless council buys 'em out. (Which probably won't happen).

True. May have to organise a whip-round. @allytibbitt@urbaneprofessor

@theSpurtle Could prove Pyrrhic victory. Precedent now set to demolish A-listed outbuildings, significant interventions to RHS + new build.

Bob Laidlaw Some good news and the right decision by our often wacky council. Maybe there is a new respect for our great cities history and a bunch of councillors who understand how lucky we all are to live here.

Late to this but the Royal high school preservation trust's application for Old Royal High school approved today - with joy and unanimity