PLANS have been submitted to turn the New Look shop in Princes Street in Edinburgh into a restaurant and a 59-room Premier Inn hotel extension.

The plans have been lodged on behalf of Premier Inn owner Whitbread to expand its existing hotel into the adjacent retail unit to create new rooms and a 387 sqm ground floor restaurant.

The planning statement said: “By way of background, the property is currently occupied by New Look who are due to vacate the premises.

“There is a perceived anticipation of further contraction of occupier demand for Princes Street, which could well be further exacerbated with the opening of the completed St James Centre in 2021."

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It added: “In summary, with the way the market is moving and the natural gravitation of occupier demand for the east end of the city centre, the west end of Princes Street will only become a vibrant and successful location if a variety of different uses are accommodated and allowed to thrive.

“The proposals seek to change the use of and re-develop the lower ground, ground and first floors of the building to accommodate an extension to the existing hotel together with the development of a new restaurant at ground floor level.”

The eatery and extension to the existing 97 rooms would be “appropriate commercial use”, the statement added.