Hopes fade for £300m Edinburgh Caltongate development


By Michael MacLeod

A PRESTEGIOUS £300million development project in Edinburgh has been scrapped after talks between developer and the council collapsed.

Plans for the Caltongate scheme would have seen a five-star hotel, conference centre and 200 new homes built beside the city’s Royal Mile.

Despite having planning permission for the huge project within Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, the city council has now withdrawn its assets from the blueprint.

The faltering plans were put on hold in March last year when the firm behind it, Mountgrange, went into administration after Bank of Scotland withdrew its financial support.

Hundreds of residents objected to the building plans but officials say they will begin the process again and seek new developers.

Edinburgh’s economic development leader Tom Buchanan confirmed today that the deal for developer, Allied London, was dead.

“Wonderful opportunity”

He said: “The council has worked for some time with the bank’s administrator in order to assist it in realising the potential of the site, but it is now apparent that the proposed development will not go ahead.

“As a result, we feel it is in the council’s best interest to draw a line under this matter and exercise our right to formally terminate the sale agreement.”

The land between Waverley railway station and the Royal Mile will remain derelict until new developers are found.

Mr Buchanan added: “We continue to believe that Caltongate presents a wonderful opportunity as an investment prospect and that it will improve our historic Old Town.

“We will therefore continue to work with potential investors to promote the site to developers.”

Allied London said they were not yet in a position to comment on the scheme’s status.