Edinburgh Council’s ‘painful’ vote goes ahead despite court action

Portobello Park, the site of the new school.

By Tom Freeman

In the face of legal action, Edinburgh City Council is today voting to approve preparatory works on building on one of Edinburgh’s community parks.  Portobello Park, between the ancient Portobello 9-hole golf course and the Milton Road section of the A1, is the preferred site for the new Portobello High School.  The Portobello Park Action Group have condemned the decision to build on the park, citing this as another example of shrinking public green space in Edinburgh and have now raised a legal action in the Court of Session to review the decision, an action which the Council have vowed to ‘vigorously defend’.

“Green space is an asset” Ros Sutherland, chair of PPAG said yesterday, “Step outside the bounds of Portobello, and look at Edinburgh as whole, there’s a history of building on public space”

Local SNP councillor Michael Bridgeman was quick to distance the current administration from the previous Labour-led council  “The SNP pledge to leave the golf course and its 150 year history alone” he told Napier News.  “We have published a clear Open Space Strategy.”  He conceded, however, that there were no plans to create new green space in Edinburgh.

“I fully acknowledge that for those living nearby this choice is totally unacceptable and very painful.” Labour councillor Maureen Child said yesterday.

The PPAG is holding a 5k fun run in the park tonight from 7pm, followed by tea and home baking in St Martin’s church hall.  They hope this will raise awareness and funds for their appeal.