A CONTROVERSIAL plan for a hotel for the landmark old Royal High School in the Scottish capital has been rejected after a six hour hearing.

In pictures: Edinburgh Unesco watchdog accused of Royal High School hotel photoshop

An Edinburgh City Council committee accepted the authority's planning officials' recommendation for rejection amid wider concerns over the impact the hotel would have on the city's Unesco World Heritage Site status.

HeraldScotland:

Conservation bodies including Historic Environment Scotland and Edinburgh World Heritage took the unusual step of opposing the £75 million hotel plan for Thomas Hamilton's 1829 masterpiece.

Planning chief: Old Royal High School hotel design is one of most abhorrent and ugly I’ve ever seen

A packed public meeting at Edinburgh City Chambers burst into applause at the end of objectors' statements, but the developers' team's 40-minute final argument was accompanied only by a stony silence.

In pictures: Edinburgh Unesco watchdog accused of Royal High School hotel photoshop

The developer again raised concerns over the use of images, below, by EWH, a concern the heritage body said earlier was unintentional.

HeraldScotland:

David Orr, chairman of joint developer Urbanist Hotels and Duddingston House Properties, told the committee: "This is a major new investment creating a very substantial economic and employment benefit.

Planning chief: Old Royal High School hotel design is one of most abhorrent and ugly I’ve ever seen

"It will have as significant a positive impact on Edinburgh as Harvey Nichols or opening new airline routes.

In pictures: Edinburgh Unesco watchdog accused of Royal High School hotel photoshop

"Losing by just one vote (in the previous application), we've addressed the criticism of our previous scheme (pictured below).

HeraldScotland:

"Put simply, too much building was being proposed for this highly sensitive site.

In pictures: Edinburgh Unesco watchdog accused of Royal High School hotel photoshop

"We instructed the team to properly address this criticism, developing the designs without us in the room, and they have done so."

Planning chief: Old Royal High School hotel design is one of most abhorrent and ugly I’ve ever seen

However, the city planners’ conclusion was that “the benefits to the city’s economy and to tourism by bringing an at-risk building into a suitable long term sustainable use are not outweighed when taking into account the impacts on the listed building the conservation areas, the World Heritage Site and the protected landscape”.

HeraldScotland:

Above: scaled back version was also rejected

Carla Parks, of Edinburgh City Council, said: “These impacts are considered very significant … the development would cause permanent and irreversible damage on the character of the listed building.

In pictures: Edinburgh Unesco watchdog accused of Royal High School hotel photoshop

“The scale of the development proposed is too great to be accommodated in this highly sensitive site.”