Virgin Hotel

28th June 2019

Written by a former Member of OTCC and with a multitude of contributions from individuals in Let There Be Light and further afield, this is our story of how the City of Edinburgh Council agreed to sell some of our public assets and allow the building of a Virgin Hotel here, in the centre of Old Town.

Complaint to CEC

OTCC formally complained to the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) about Planning Application 15/04445/FUL India Buildings (Virgin) Hotel.

The first document summarises OTCCs questions and recommendations, versus the responses received from CEC.

The second and third documents are OTCC’s complaint letter (December 2017) and the response received from the City of Edinburgh Council (January 2018).

Supplementary information

The following is OTCC’s collection of articles, paper and other information published, with respect to the proposed Virgin Hotel. The information is listed chronologically from today to 1970. Please do let us know of other information you would like added to this page. 

Our other collections are at: Crime / IncidentsGrassmarketOld Town BIDPrinces Street GardensRoyal MileShort-term lets



Our Case for enacting Section 65 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 OTCC, March

Thomas & Adamson awarded Virgin Hotel project Edinburgh News, 12th March 2018

Appeal against India Buildings development dismissed Scottish Legal News, 8th March

Edinburgh firm to project manage city’s Virgin hotel development Edinburgh News, 7th March

Just 1 in 15 elected-Councillors agree to meet MP and OTCC OTCC, 6th March 2018

Refusal of challenge to India Buildings development Morton Fraser, 6th March

Local Government Communities Committee : submission by Mary Gordon Scottish Parliament, February

Review of meeting to launch the Section 65 appeal Let There Be Light – Edinburgh, 20th February

The first Virgin Hotel outside the US announced, February 2018

Family connection leads to Sir Richard Branson opening first Virgin Hotel in city Events Base Magazine, February

Tree protest man loses appeal in bid to block hotel development The National, January

Assessment of the India Buildings Development OTCC, January 2018



All I want for Christmas is a Section 65 OTCC, December

Reclaim the City, December

Let There Be Light meeting, 7th December OTCC, December

Legal challenge against Old Town development fails Scottish Legal News, 30th October

Judge back hotel plans for Edinburgh’s Old Town The Times, 21st October

Judicial Review of a decision by Edinburgh City Council : opinion of Lady Wise Court of Session, 20th October

India Buildings Ltd registered Guernsey Registry, 11th October

India Building Developments Limited incorporated Companies House, 30th June

Save Edinburgh Central Library Crowdfunder, May

Building On The Past : the push for progress doesn’t have to be at odds with preservation Holyrood Magazine, April

Campaigner defends Cowgate in court The Edinburgh Reporter, March

Developers evict Edinburgh protester living in a tree Edinburgh News, March

Tree protester evicted from hotel site in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket BBC, March

Developer vows to remove tree protester BBC, March

Set up trust to halt Edinburgh’s public buildings sell-off, says heritage watchdog The Herald, February

The grandest Andrew Carnegie libraries around the World The Scotsman, January



Concerning the Future of Edinburgh’s Central Library and the City’s World Heritage Status, November 2016

Edinburgh’s Age of endarkenment : development is “ripping heart from city” The Guardian, September

Time to stop and think about our City’s future Edinburgh News, September

Central Library redesignated from Category B to Category A Historic Environment Scotland, July

Protest over Edinburgh development shows we need to reassess City vision Scottish Greens, June

Protesters camp out in bid to hobble £65m Old Town Hotel Edinburgh News, June

ICA secures planning approval for major mixed-use development, June

Switching off the light at the Central Library EOTDT, May

Architect warns of dark future for library amid protests over hotel plan The Herald, May

Neil Simpson : Hotel plan damages future of Central Library, Edinburgh News, May

India Buildings Old Town hotel to go ahead despite objections Edinburgh News, May

Edinburgh clinic for homeless people faces closure Scottish Housing News, May

£65 million Edinburgh hotel plan ‘to be given go-ahead’ despite UNESCO concerns The Herald, May

Development Management Sub-Committee of Planning Committee : Webcast City of Edinburgh Council, May

Development Management Sub-Committee of Planning Committee : Item 6.1(a) Protocol Note : City of Edinburgh Council, May

Development Management Sub-Committee of Planning Committee : Item 6.1(b)-(f) Minutes : City of Edinburgh Council, May



Objection to Application 15/04445/FUL Cockburn Association, November

New Images of £65m India Buildings Hotel Development Edinburgh News, October

India Buildings Development : guidance for objectors EOTDT, October

Ambitious India Buildings Development, July

The Edinburgh 12 City of Edinburgh Council, July

India Buildings set for a fresh lease of life Urban Realm, June

Luxury four star hotel-complex for Victoria Street Edinburgh News, June

Panorama view of Victoria Street, May

The Edinburgh 12 City of Edinburgh Council, January



India Buildings Edinburgh – City Centre Development Opportunity Savills, February



Heritage sweep puts the city’s iconic sites ‘at risk’ The Scotsman, April



Edinburgh sees increase in number of polluted streets BBC, April



Central Library to be centrepiece of multi-million pound cultural redevelopment December

Central Library Development, Policy and Strategy Committee City of Edinburgh Council, December



Great Britain’s first same-sex civil partnership ceremony takes place at India Buildings The Guardian, December



1-6 India Buildings, Victoria Street designated Category A Historic Environment Scotland, December

Central Library designated Category B Historic Environment Scotland, December

14-20 Cowgate (former Cowgatehead Free Church) designated Category B Historic Environment Scotland, December

28-36 Cowgate designated Category B Historic Environment Scotland, December

11-15 Victoria Street designated Category C Historic Environment Scotland, December