Plans to redevelop the St James shopping centre in Edinburgh have been given the go-ahead.

Developer Henderson Global Investors has been granted outline consent to overhaul the scheme, which has been dubbed Scotland’s ugliest building.

The works will transform the site in the centre of the Scottish capital, which also includes the now unoccupied former civil service office New St Andrew’s House.

“It’s a building that’s way, way past its time in architectural terms and for Edinburgh as a city,” said Henderson director of shopping centres Myles White. “It needed a lot more retail in terms of both quality
and quantity.”

A retail-led mixed-use scheme will be built on the land made vacant by the demolition of the existing St James shopping centre, all of which is to be pulled down apart from the John Lewis department store, which will be refurbished.

The scheme will include up to 1 million sq ft (92,900 sq m) of retail space across 90 stores, as well as 250 apartments, two hotels and around 160,000 sq ft (14,865 sq m) of office space.