A Private Bill to allow the new Portobello High School to be built in Portobello Park has been introduced in the Scottish Parliament.
The City of Edinburgh Council is taking the comparatively rare step of seeking to introduce new legislation as the existing law presents an impediment to the Council building the much-needed school.
The Private Bill, which is being promoted by the council, aims to change the Common Good status of Portobello Park from inalienable to ‘alienable’, but only for educational purposes. This means although the land would remain in the Common Good, the Council would be able to ‘appropriate it’, or change its use, to an educational purpose.
The Council recently consulted on its proposals for a Private Bill and received resounding support to take it forward.
The consultation produced the highest number of responses for any Council consultation in recent years, with over 12,000 individual responses received.
Of the valid responses received from those who live in the city, 70 per cent supported the proposals with the level of support from those in the local Portobello area being higher at 76 per cent.
Councillor Paul Godzik, Convener of Education, Children and Families, said: “The Council is absolutely determined to deliver a new Portobello High School and this is an important milestone in the project.
The existing school is greatly in need of replacement and it is clear from the response to our recent consultation that the people of Edinburgh support our Private Bill to change the status of Portobello Park to allow the new Portobello High School to be built there.
“We believe we have a strong case to put to Parliament. This by far the best location for the much-needed new school and our open space compensation measures mean that the people of Portobello would not only gain a new park but also see improvements to other green space in the local community.”