Balfour Beatty set for Portobello High School construction contract

The Council is set to award the construction contract for the new Portobello High School to Balfour Beatty Construction.

Councillors will be asked to approve the proposed appointment at the Council meeting on 22 September.

Balfour Beatty has agreed to delay the signing of the contract for the works with the Council until the outcome of a legal case over the siting of the new school on Portobello Park.   The Council will defend the legal action as its own legal advice from a QC states that it is possible to build the much-needed replacement school in the park.

City Education Leader Cllr Marilyne MacLaren said:

"Following a competitive tendering process we are pleased to announce that Balfour Beatty is our preferred choice to be awarded the contract for the new Portobello High School.  We greatly appreciate that they are willing to delay the contract signing until after the legal action is resolved as this will keep additional costs to a minimum for the council.  

"Balfour Beatty are one of Scotland's leading construction companies and we are confident, that with them on board, we will give the Portobello school community a new school that they can be proud of.

"It's hugely disappointing that the start of the work may be delayed but, by agreeing to some preparatory works going ahead before the contract signing, we hope to keep any delays to a minimum."   

 At the Council meeting on 22 September, Councillors will be asked to:

 *   approve the appointment of Balfour Beatty Construction Scottish & Southern Limited as the Principal Construction Contractor the new school, subject to the approval of the contract being take to Council at a future date.

*   approve preparatory works up to a maximum cost of £200,000 be progressed to mitigate the risk of delay to the construction programme.

A local action group (Portobello Park Action Group) have raised a legal action in the Court of Session to review the decision to build the school on Portobello Park.  The Council will vigorously defend this action as its own legal advice from a QC is that it is possible for the school to be built there.  

Initial consultation on the site for a replacement school took place in 2006 at the conclusion of which Council approved that the new Portobello High School would be built on Portobello Park.  

The decision to go ahead with the project was taken in December 2008.  Planning permission was granted earlier this year following an extensive pre-planning consultation programme



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