Hundreds of people have signed a petition asking Scottish ministers to overrule Edinburgh Council's decision to approve plans for the controversial ‘ribbon hotel'.
An online petition on change.org, which was set up by Lynsey Macfadyen, has attracted 681 signatures so far. It states: "We want MSPs to overturn Edinburgh Council's decision on the ribbon hotel. We believe that the design does not fit in with Edinburgh's historical and beautiful look and would be better-suited elsewhere."
Another petition entitled ‘Stop ugly Edinburgh hotel' has been set up on 38degrees.
Plans for the 12-storey, 210-bedroom hotel were approved last week despite concerns from planning officials.
Fears were raised about the city's skyline being "damaged" by the unusual design for the St James Centre hotel, proposed as part of a £850m regeneration project in the city.
Architects Jestico + Whiles designed the building to look like a bundle of coiled ribbons.
In their application, they said: "The ribbon emerges from the retail levels below in a flourish that, initially unruly, settles on a building form until at the uppermost levels it ‘unravels' and crescendos into a contemporary elegant spire like form soaring above roof level. The ribbon wraps a simple, continuous, 360 degree glass façade on a tear drop shaped building footprint, grounded to its historical context by a central sandstone-clad core running through the height of the building."
TH Real Estate was granted planning permission by the City of Edinburgh council after the issue was discussed for around three and a half hours. The regeneration project is one of the largest under way in the UK and will see the current shopping centre at Princes Street demolished and a new retail complex erected. It will include 750,000 sq ft of retail space, up to 250 new homes, 30 restaurants and a multi-screen cinema.
Martin Perry, director of development at TH Real Estate, said: "We are really pleased with the hotel design our architects have developed. It is an exciting piece of modern architecture which makes a bold statement and will ultimately become a destination in its own right.
"The (city council planning) decision has allowed us to take one step closer to delivering this major regeneration project which will reinforce and elevate Edinburgh's reputation as an international destination."
Work is expected to start early next year with completion in 2020.
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