A 225-bedroom hotel in the centre of Edinburgh's Old Town looks set to win planning permission despite concerns being raised by UNESCO.
The development, located on Victoria Street and Cowgate, is being proposed by developer Jansons Property, the company behind the development of the award-winning 259-bed ‘So-Co' Ibis hotel between Southbridge and Cowgate, Edinburgh in 2011 and the 160-bed Ibis hotel in Edinburgh Park in 2013.
Jansons Property has yet to identify which operator will run the hotel. However its planning application for the site states the company is currently in negotiations with an international, four-star hotel operator for the development.
The hotel will feature a bar, restaurant, café, retail and commercial units and is expected to create jobs for around 40 staff as well as over 200 construction jobs.
The proposed development is understood to be in a strong position to gain planning permission, particularly as hotel development on the site has been identified as a key economic opportunity by the City of Edinburgh Council Economic Development Department in its document Edinburgh 12.
Jansons Property managing director Andy Jansons said: "These proposals are all about preserving three listed buildings, and bringing a four or five-star hotel development to the city. There is no doubt that an additional £5.3m of annual visitor spend into the Victoria Street and Cowgate area would make a huge difference to some of Scotland's most iconic shopping areas, and another high-end hotel operator will help to further secure the city's place as a world-class tourism destination."
However the application still faces concerted opposition from local residents who argue the nine-storey development is out of keeping with the area. Their concerns are supported by UNESCO advisers who have named the site as one of seven developments it had "strong concerns" about.
If the proposals get the go-ahead, work could begin on site next January and be completed by summer 2018.
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