By Ian McConnell

Business Editor

PLANNING permission has been granted for a 55-room aparthotel in Edinburgh, subject to conditions.

Supercity Aparthotels, the independent company behind the development on Forth Street and Broughton Street Lane, said its first operation in Edinburgh would incorporate Forth House, which it noted was currently home to Radio Forth, and Playfair House. It is estimated that around 18 jobs will be created by the new operation.

The front of the B-listed Forth House will remain mostly unchanged, “serving to preserve the historic building”, Supercity Aparthotels noted.

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It said “minor changes are proposed on the rear elevation, such as changing an existing opening to a door”.

The company added: “Modern Playfair House, fronting Broughton Street Lane, will be stripped back to its superstructure and a new facade of natural stone and precast concrete built to align with adjacent buildings, reinstating the mews street frontage.”

Permission for the development was granted by the development management sub-committee of City of Edinburgh Council.

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Roger Walters, chairman of Supercity Aparthotels, said: “We are delighted that our aparthotel operation has been approved by the committee, which will preserve the fabulous Forth House. This is an excellent location for our first operation in Edinburgh, lying close to the busy city centre.

“We look forward to work commencing onsite and will continue to engage with the community to ensure that it is kept updated as works progress.”

Operating in London, Manchester and Brighton, Supercity Aparthotels is primarily aimed at extended stay guests and business travellers. It currently has six properties, with two new locations in York and Leeds opening by 2023.

The company flagged “strong aspirations to expand into more key locations across the UK”.

One of the conditions is that “no development shall take place until the applicant has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological work (historic building recording, interpretation, public engagement, analysis and reporting, publication), in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority, having first been agreed by the city archaeologist”.

There is also a condition around the housing of the proposed air source heat pumps and extract fan “behind acoustic louvres”.

Another condition is that “a detailed specification, including trade names where appropriate, of all the proposed external materials shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority before work is commenced on site”.

The aparthotel will include a communal lounge-bar area and a gym, and reception facilities 24 hours per day, seven days a week.