A DEVELOPER is to appeal against a council decision to deny planning permission for a controversial hotel on the site of the old Royal High School in Edinburgh.

Duddingston House Properties and Urbanist Hotels, the co-investors and developers behind the revised Rosewood Hotel scheme have confirmed they will appeal against the ruling by City of Edinburgh Council to refuse planning permission for the firm’s proposals.

Built by Thomas Hamilton in 1829 and owned by the council, the building has been largely unused since the school moved out in 1968.

David Orr, co-founder of Urbanist Hotels, said: “In line with our contractual agreement with City of Edinburgh Council, we remain wholly committed to delivering an outstanding scheme for the old Royal High School, reviving a building which has been allowed to slip into a state of disrepair and neglect for nearly 50 years.

“We fully recognise the importance of Hamilton’s Old Royal High School building on a national level and our revised proposals guarantee the future of Hamilton’s masterpiece, both architecturally and financially.

“As such, we have advised the planning and environmental appeals division of the Scottish Government that it is our intention to appeal the council’s committee decision.”

City councillors last month rejected the revised proposal for the A-listed building on Calton Hill.

Thousands of people had backed a campaign against the development, with more than 3200 letters of objections submitted to the council, and only 280 letters of support. Most objectors were concerned about the threat to Edinburgh’s status as a World Heritage Site. However, those who supported the plan stressed the positive impact the hotel would have on tourism.

The first planning application was defeated by a single vote in December 2015, but the developers said the revised plans reduced both the height and scale of the previous proposals, with the new Western Wing being lowered by almost a quarter and reduced by a third in volume. The number of rooms would be reduced from 147 to 127.

The developers have emphasised the economic impacts of the development, and said that 250 direct jobs were expected to be created, while the project would support 590 more in the wider supply chain.

They said the hotel was expected to generate more than £35 million in GDP annually for Scotland’s economy, “sufficient to support 850 jobs on average throughout that period” and generating £13.3m in taxation annually.

The council’s planning convener, Lewis Ritchie, said: “We are aware of the applicant’s intention to appeal to Scottish Ministers. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”