Haymarket Station ©


Edinburgh Today

Morrison Street Goods Yard

Plans for Offices and Shops

June 2003

Several schemes have been promoted in recent years for developing the old Morrison Street goods yard, a four-acre gap site immediately to the south-east of Haymarket, that has lain derelict for almost 40 years.

A  revised plan was announced, on 16 June 2003, for a six-storey development of shops and offices, with an arcade and open squares.  The developers hope that work can begin on phase one of this scheme in 2004, with phases two and three being completed within five years.

Planning permission will be needed before this scheme can go ahead.  Previous schemes have met with objections that they would block the views towards Edinburgh Castle.

Evening News  16 June 2003, p.7

Decision Awaited

November 2003

EDI, the arms-length development company owned by the City of Edinburgh Council, has proposed plans for a 6 storey office/retail development with a central arcade of shops running through the site at Morrison Street Goods Yard.

Heritage bodies have objected on the grounds that the scale of the development and the height of the buildings would be too great for the site, and that views would be obscured.

The plan will be considered by Edinburgh Council's Planning Dept on 5 November 03, but Scottish Ministers will have the final say whether or not it goes ahead.  In view of the scale of objections raised, it may be decided that this proposal should be the subject of a public inquiry.

Evening News  31 October 2003, p.17

Application Rejected

November 2003

Despite a recommendation by the City of Edinburgh's planning officials in favour EDI's  proposed development at Haymarket, the application for this development was rejected by councillors at their meeting on 5 November 03.

The application was rejected by 6 votes to 5.  Arguments against the proposal were:

-   the height of the proposed development

-   possible impact on future transport links.

EDI hope to resubmit their scheme in the near future.

Evening News  7 November 2003, pp.14-15

Earlier Ideas

EDI's proposed office and retail development above is the latest of several suggestions put forward in recent years for the development of the former goods yard at Morrison Street.  Previous proposals have included use of the site for:

-   the new Scottish Parliament:  considered in 1997, before the decision was made to build the parliament at Holyrood.

-   a new Inland Revenue Office

-   an arena for sports and pop concerts

-   an Architecture and Design Centre, as part of Edinburgh's bid for the 'City of Architecture and Design' title in 1999

Evening News  7 November 2003, pp.14-15

Modified Plan

March 2004

Developers have modified their proposals for a new shopping centre with  bars and commercial accommodation on the former Morrison Street Goods Yard..

The height of the proposed buildings is 6 metres lower than in the previous plan which was rejected in November 2003.  Heritage bodies have welcomed the changes but still have concerns over the scale and quality of the proposed development.

The latest proposals are expected to be considered by the Council in June 2004 or earlier.

Evening News  11 March 2004, p.21

Plan Approved

August 2004

Planning permission has been granted to the building an office and leisure complex with a public arcade on the Morrison Street Goods Yard 'gap site' at Haymarket.  The site has lain derelict for most of the past 40 years and has been used as a car park in recent years.

The plans include 200,000 sq ft of offices and 40,000 sq ft of retail or leisure space, creating accommodation for 5,000 workers.  The designers have made many changes to their earlier design, including reducing the height of the complex by 6 meters.

Edinburgh's heritage body, the Cockburn Association regrets that the opportunity has been lost for creating a major City Centre transport interchange on this site.

Evening News  30 Aug 2004, p10  AND  Gorgie-Dalry Gazette Sep 04, p.1


Public Inquiry announced

October 2004

Following concern expressed by heritage bodies over the scale and design of the proposed building, and protests by local residents, supported by Edinburgh Central MP, Alistair Darling, the Scottish Executive has announced that a public inquiry is to be held into this development.

Historic Scotland, the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland, the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust and the Cockburn Association have all raised concerns over the proposals, and can be expected to express their views at the public inquiry.

So, if the development does go ahead, it is likely to be delayed by several months.

Evening News   Oct 2004, p7

The Public Inquiry is due to begin on 9 May 2005.

Evening News   5 April 2005, p8

£70m Plan Approved

January 2006

The Edinburgh newspaper, Herald & Post, announced on 5 January 2006 that following the Public Inquiry of 2005, the Scottish Executive ministers had now approved plans to create a £70m development on the former Morrison Street Goods Yard at Haymarket, currently being used as a car park.

The plans have been approved, despite protests  from Historic Scotland, the Cockburn Association, Edinburgh World Heritage Trust and others that the scale of the development was out of keeping with the character of the area.

Developer EDI, an arms-length  council-owned company, proposes to build a six-storey development, designed by Edinburgh architects Reiach and Hall.   It is to include hotels, bars, shops and offices, and will have a five-storey public arcade.

Herald & Post,  January 5, 2006:  p.9

EDI's Plan Abandoned

late 2006

Despite having received Planning Permission following a Public Inquiry in 2005, EDI's plans to create a shopping arcade, offices and restaurants on Morrison Street Car Park are not to go ahead.

Instead, EDI (Edinburgh Council's development company) was forced to sell the site in order help finance a large equal pay settlement for the council's workers.  The site was sold for £41.5mto Irish developer, Tiger

Tiger Developments' Plans Announced

September 2007

Edinburgh Haymarket   --  Proposed development by Tiger Developments,including a new  InterContinental Hotel ©    Edinburgh Haymarket   --  Proposed development by Tiger Developments,including a new  InterContinental Hotel ©    Edinburgh Haymarket   --  Proposed development by Tiger Developments,including a new  InterContinental Hotel ©

The Plans

Tiger Developments is a wholly owned subsidiary of the O’Flynn Group, have released plans their proposed £200m development for the Morrison Street Car Park at Haymarket.  The developers propose:

-  a 5-star, 16-storey, 180-bedroom leaf-shaped InterContinental Hotel .

-  a 3-star, 246-bedroom ,Travelodge Hotel.

-  three office buildings providing a total 335,000 sq ft on the edge of Edinburgh's financial district.

-  a boulevard through the centre of the site, extending from Morrison Street to Dalry Road

The proposed glass and stone fronted InterContinental Hotel would be the largest building in the area, about the same height as the Balmoral Hotel at the East End of Princes Street. 


Tiger's proposals have been submitted following 8 months' consultation with local residents and others.  The proposals seem to be generally regarded as an improvement on the previous EDI proposals. 

However, The West End Community Council, Dalry Colonies Residents' Association and local residents have expressed concern over the proposed height of Tiger's development.


The developers hope that planning permission will be granted in time to allow building work to begin in mid-2008 and be completed by 2012.

Edinburgh Evening News September 5, 2007,  pp.1, 10,11 (The proposals)

Edinburgh Evening News September 6, 2007,  p 10 (Reaction to the proposals)

Planning Application lodged with City of Edinburgh council


Council Approval

June 2008

Over recent months, Tiger Developments have been in discussion with Edinburgh Council's planners.   Tiger have made some changes to their £200m proposals for Haymarket, which are due to be submitted to the next week's meeting of the Planning Committee.

The proposed development comprises:

-  a 192-bedroom leaf-shaped five-star hotel for InterContinental

-  a 245-bedroom three-star hotel for Travelodge

-  offices, shops and restaurants.

Now, the council's head of Planning, Alan Henderson has been told of the economic benefit the development would bring to Edinburgh, and has given his support to the development, despite objections raised Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, The Cockburn Association and others who claim that the 17 storey hotel is too large for the location and would obscure views.

Alan Henderson said he approved of the quality of the architecture and  regarded the 17 storey hotel as a complement to the city's skyline.

Edinburgh Council will require the developers to pay £4.14m towards the cost of the city's new tram system if the development goes ahead.

Edinburgh Evening News June 19, 2008:  p.13.

Update 1

Planning Consent

On June 25, 2008, the Edinburgh City Council's Planning Committee voted by 10 votes to 5 in favour of approving Tiger Development's proposals.

Update 2

Public Inquiry

Tiger Development's proposals are to be the subject of a two-week Public Inquiry beginning on May 25, 2009.


Edinburgh Today

Haymarket Station


Transport Links

2003 Proposals

Station and Road Layout

Haymarket Railway Station dates from 1842.  It was the original terminus of the Glasgow to Edinburgh railway. 

The station is in need of restoration.  The interchange between train and bus is not very convenient.  There are plans for the proposed Edinburgh tramway to pass through Haymarket.  This may provide an opportunity to improve the road layout and interchange facilities in the area.

Masterplan for Transport at Haymarket

A Masterplan for transport at Haymarket is now being prepared by a group including representatives from:

-   City of Edinburgh Council

-   Scotrail

-   Transport Initiatives Edinburgh

Evening News  7 November 2003, pp.14-15

2007 Proposals

I have read very little about plans for Haymarket Station over the past couple of years. 

However, on May 18, 2007, the Evening News reported that the 12 options originally under consideration had been reduced to three.  These are now being put forward by the council for consultation.

There will be an exhibition of the proposals, on view at Haymarket Station from May 31 to June 4.  Consultation will last until June 22, 2007.

Haymarket Station

   Haymarket Station ©

Option A


Retain the two listed  buildings, Haymarket Station and Ryan's Bar.

Refurbish the station platforms and concourse and cover with a glass roof.

Create a new transport interchange, together with new shops and houses, immediately to the south and west of the existing station.

Option B


Demolish both the listed  buildings.

Build glass offices and retail block, possibly 5-storeys high, to include homes and a new station. This would cover the site of the old station and areas immediately to the south, west and east of the old station.

Option C


Retain the two listed  buildings, Haymarket Station and Ryan's Bar.

Refurbish the station platforms and concourse.

Build a transport interchange, but without offices and shops

Evening News  May 18, 2007, pp.1, 10, 11.


As Expected, strong objections to the possible demolition of the A-listed Haymarket Station have been raised by heritage bodies, including the Cockburn Association and the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland.

Readers quoted in the Evening News also all objected to demolition of existing station.

Evening News  May 29, 2007, p.11

The Station will not be Demolished

Option B above has been abandoned after failing to win public support, only 15% of the 400 respondents favouring this option.

Edinburgh Councillors now favour Option A above.

Evening News  July 25, 2007, p.6



Edinburgh Today

Edinburgh Haymarket Station


A proposed £190m redevelopment of the 164-year-old Edinburgh Haymarket Station has been announced.

It is proposed to:

-  treble the size of the station concourse and public areas.

- provide new concourse levels with glazed roof and access to the tram line.

-  retain and refurbish the neighbouring Ryan's Bar.

- create a space in front of the station for the monument to Edinburgh's footballers killed in the First World War.

- create new offices, shops and flats around the station.  This would be phase 2 of the development.

Edinburgh Evening News:  April 29, 2008