Letters: Porty poopers’ tactics are doing nothing but harm

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We write as representatives of the Portobello High School Parent Council in relation to the court action raised by Portobello Park Action Group (PPAG) (News, September 13).

We are disappointed and dismayed that PPAG has left its legal challenge to the last possible minute, causing the maximum delay to a project dedicated to improving the education of our young people and the quality of life of the wider community. We hope that the courts ensure that matters are progressed as quickly as possible to allow the urgently needed school to be built.

We are also concerned with the misrepresentations made by PPAG to raise funds for its action. It claims on its website to speak for the “significant majority” of the community – a claim it cannot possibly justify. The majority of those responding to the council’s planning consultation supported the building of the school on the selected site.

It also states that “housing will be built on the whole area” when the vast majority of the area will not be built on. It asserts that the golf course “will be lost” when it is to be retained. It does itself no credit with these tactics.

A detailed investigation was made some years ago into possible sites for the school and Portobello Park was identified as the best location. Great efforts have been made in the design process to meet the concerns of those living around the agreed site.

It would be cause for praise if those who live around the site, and the, we suspect, small number who support them, were to drop this action in the interests of the wider community and our children.

Paul Smart and Tom Ballantine, Portobello High School Parent Council, Duddingston Road

Objection stifling stars of tomorrow

I AM writing to ask the people involved in the PPAG if they are going to promise to use the park every day if they win their latest objection, because otherwise I know that, without hesitation, I can promise that every school day of the year the space will be used to its full.

It will allow young Scots to develop the skills they need to build a better future for all of us. The new science labs could start a passion that may lead to a cure for cancer; the music department could start a group on their way to being the next Beatles; could the domestic science department produce a Gordon Ramsay, the PE department a David Wilkie and the English department the next Ian Rankin? The maths department might give us a young mathematician who will go on to fix our economy.

So PPAG, which never used the park before (shown from an independent survey carried out in the early summer months), are you going to use this community space as wonderfully or as constructively as our young people?

Margherita Still, Kenmure Avenue, Willowbrae

Why the rush for trams project?

The problem with the tram works is that it should have been done in stages – Stage 1: Haymarket to Airport; Stage 2: Haymarket to St Andrew Square; Stage 3: St Andrew Square to Foot of Walk; Stage 4: Foot of Walk to Newhaven.

There should have been a two-year gap in between each stage, with the whole project taking ten years, and only done when funds were available.

It is typical of Edinburgh city fathers rushing into projects without taking all facets of the project into account. Public confidence has to be built up progressively and a simpler method of laying the rails could be done without all these excavations, thus bringing the contract into budget.

James E Fraser, Cockburn Street

Snow excuse for winter chaos

With the possibility of another harsh winter not too far away, it must be a bit reassuring for air travellers to know that Edinburgh Airport has invested in modern snow-clearing equipment.

Let’s just hope that when it comes to the roads and pavements the same chaotic scenes of the last couple of winters are not witnessed once again.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road