Council to pursue protest group for court costs

The City of Edinburgh Council is to pursue Portobello Park Action Group (PPAG) for the costs incurred in their recent legal case against the Council.

PPAG had petitioned the Court of Session, claiming the Council had no right to appropriate Portobello Park to build the new Portobello High School.  Three weeks ago Lady Dorrian dismissed PPAG's petition on the grounds of Mora (delay) saying any court action should have been taken no later than March 2010. Lady Dorrian also upheld the Council's position that the Council didn't need to seek court permission to appropriate the land to build the school on Portobello Park.

Earlier this week, the Council was informed that PPAG intend to appeal this decision.

Councillor Marilyne MacLaren, Convener of Education, Children and Families said: "There is no doubt that Portobello High School urgently needs replaced and there is huge local support for this.   PPAG's actions to date have already delayed the opening of the new school and despite Lady Dorrian's judgment clearly supporting the council's position, they continue to further delay the plans for the new school".

Phil Wheeler, Convener of Finance and Resources added: "Enough is enough.  The Council has incurred significant legal expenses to date, in excess of £75,000, and the Appeal will incur considerable additional costs. We have a duty to Edinburgh's taxpayers to ensure their money is not wasted and we intend to pursue PPAG for their costs to date.  We will also use all measures available to us to protect the council taxpayer from further expense arising from the ongoing legal proceedings".

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