Heritage guardians move to protect Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site; Brian Donnelly; Herald Scotland

Scotland – Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

HERITAGE guardians are to move to tighten planning guidelines, re-open unused buildings and make grants easier to obtain under a plan of action to protect Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site.

It comes after Unesco investigators paid a two-day visit to the city prompted by concerns over developments including proposals to turn the former Royal High School, below, into a £75m luxury hotel and the £850m St James Centre development, which has had it’s unusual “ribbon” hotel design criticised.

The plan comes after a consultation into the running of the World Heritage Site by its managers Edinburgh City Council, Historic Environment Scotland and Edinburgh World Heritage.

A central element to emerge was the push to keep such protection to the fore in planning decisions, with the management plan report saying: “The site’s skyline and setting are vulnerable to unsympathetic development.

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