The Old Royal High is one of Scotland’s national treasures. Today St Mary’s Music School have released their ambitious plans for the school. The Old Royal High School Preservation Trust has uploaded impressive ‘walkthrough’ films on its website which reveals the exciting plans it has for the building, including the creation of a new entrance from the front façade and foyer under the debating chamber. Keeping this building as a school, its original purpose, sympathetically preserves its heritage and place within Edinburgh’s new town. As a music school it will help renew and stimulate Edinburgh’s cultural heritage, and the talent our city possesses, for years to come.
Respecting the setting and unique outstanding value of the existing building, the music school has come forward with an alternative proposal for the school just 10 days before Councillors will determine an application to convert the building into a luxury hotel flanked with accommodation wings. I’ve submitted an objection to this proposal. I believe that it rides a coach and horses through the Council’s own planning rules in terms of demolition. The damage it would do to the unique setting of the Calton Hill cannot be justified. I believe that the music school’s alternative proposal is better for the future of the city, has secured funding for what will be an investment in our historic and cultural heritage and a boost for the city’s tourism offer. It would be a great way to ensure the reuse of this much loved building and I am fully supportive of the new plans.