SCOTTISH NEWS: Edinburgh gap site scheme hits rocks

A scheme to develop one of the last large gap sites in central Edinburgh has been turned down by city councillors.

Members rejected the advice of planning officials and agreed with heritage groups that the proposals for a mixed-use development at Haymarket would dominate the surrounding buildings.

The application for the 1.6ha Morrison Street goods yard, currently used as a car park, was submitted by the EDI Group, Edinburgh City Council's own arm's-length development company. The scheme would have comprised a pedestrian arcade lined with shops and cafes, a supermarket and offices.

EDI claimed that the project was needed to maintain Edinburgh's status as a leading business and financial centre. Alan Henderson, the council's head of planning, agreed that it would be a high-quality addition to the capital. But councillors were concerned that a proposed six-storey building was too large.

Historic Scotland warned that the buildings would detract from the western entrance to the world heritage site. EDI has said that it will produce a new scheme for the site.

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