An Edinburgh-based author has publicly criticised plans for the ‘ribbon' hotel in the Scottish capital, claiming it resembles dog mess.
In a letter to Scottish newspaper The Herald
The controversial hotel has already received heavy criticism from planning officials and members of the public. A petition calling for Scottish ministers to overrule Edinburgh Council's decision to approve plans for the hotel has received almost 800 signatures.
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 wider £850m regeneration project in the city.
Candia McWilliam said: "The mooted St James's Centre replacement and ‘Ribbon hotel' establish what might have seemed inconceivable something of graver insult to Calton Hill and both the Old and New Towns than the lumbering offence to both that has set up such a pervasive stink in its time and since, the extant, brutal St James Centre that itself seems to have been not placed but dumped upon the sightlines of the city.
"To be entrusted with such an asset as the city of Edinburgh and to squander it, even, it could appear, to labour to destroy it, must be accounted inexcusable folly.
"Need all enlightenments necessarily be followed by an age of wilful blindness?
"For can it be the case that our masters are so blind as to allow to be set at two great axes of the New Town something that for all the fancy talk of ‘festival ribbons' and ‘high fashion' resembles nothing so much as what citizens are coyly enjoined to pick up after their dogs?"
Councillors approved plans for the 12-storey, 210 bedroom hotel after debating the issue 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.
Architects Jestico + Whiles designed the hotel to look like a bundle of coiled ribbons. It will include restaurants, bars and a rooftop terrace at the uppermost levels, providing panoramic views across the city.
Developer TH Real Estate said the project will create 5,000 jobs during construction and 3,000 permanent jobs.
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."
Work is expected to start early next year with completion in 2020.
Latest video from The Caterer