Green light for Portobello Park Private Bill

The Scottish Parliament has today (Thursday 26 June 2014) passed the City of Edinburgh Council’s Private Bill to allow the new Portobello High School to be built on Portobello Park.

After gaining widespread public support for its plans, the Council decided to take a Private Bill through the Scottish Parliament that would permit the Council to go ahead with the project despite the legal restriction which would otherwise prevent the new school from being built on Portobello Park.

Today’s decision has been welcomed by Edinburgh’s Education Leader, Councillor Paul Godzik. He said: “This decision will be welcomed by the Portobello community as it clears the legal obstacle that has prevented us building the new Portobello High School on Portobello Park.  We know there is overwhelming support in the local community for our plans.

“The Bill will become an Act once it receives Royal Assent, which we expect will be within four to six weeks. As soon as the legislation is in force we will appropriate the park and formally appoint our contractors, Balfour Beatty, to ensure that the construction of the new school starts on site as quickly as possible. 

“The young people of Portobello deserve high quality education facilities and I am confident not only that the school community will benefit from our plans but also that the wider local community will be able to enjoy the improved sports and other facilities that will be available when the new school opens, which we anticipate will be in August 2016.”

Additional information:

  • Under existing legislation, it would be possible for the Council to sell Portobello Park to a third party with Court permission but there is currently no provision allowing the Council to change the purpose for which the Council itself can use the park.
  • The City of Edinburgh Council (Portobello Park) Bill empowers the Council to appropriate the park for educational use only. 

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