The Court of Session last week ruled that Edinburgh City Council could proceed with building the new Portobello High School on Portobello Park.
The overriding judgement was that Portobello Park Action Group (PPAG) was too late in taking this to court – a surprising decision to many as the council has yet to appropriate the land, an essential process when the council wishes to build on common good land.
The case for protecting our green space has never been about stopping the building of a much-needed new school. It has always been about saving valuable parkland.
This result is a hollow victory for anyone who thinks they have something to celebrate. In this instance, the budget is there for a new school and it could have been successfully built on its existing site, as many other schools have been.
The only winner in this case is the city council, which stands to make a substantial sum of money from selling the existing school site, which itself was playing fields before the current school was built.
This case has become a much wider issue about whether the city council can build what it wants where it wants, irrespective of public opinion. This case sets a dangerous precedent.
PPAG is considering a legal appeal and I would urge anyone in Edinburgh who cares about green space to support the group. If you wait until your local park is affected it will be too late.
J Peters, Duddingston Crescent, Edinburgh
Wind energy is a risky gamble
MARTIN Hannan says Scotland faces an energy gap (News, March 13), but he neglects to say how big it is and how many wind turbines would be required to plug it.
He also neglects to say what we are supposed to do when the wind isn’t blowing or is blowing too much.
As with independence, the use of wind power is an article of faith to Mr Hannan and his fellow travellers, immune as it is to arguments based in logic and reason. But make no mistake, their hubristic belief in their own position is essentially a gamble that renewables will keep our lights on and our radiators warm.
Perhaps Mr Hannan can confirm how much all of this will cost and how much global temperatures will be reduced as a result of his party’s punt?
Robert Miller, Bracken Avenue, Falkirk
Secularists should take silence vow
THE National Secular Society should follow its own advice (March 13) and go into a very long period of “collective silent contemplation”, and leave city councillors to continue opening their meetings with a time-honoured period of prayer.
The NSS continues to plead support from an English court ruling that the practice is unlawful in England, ignoring the fact that the courts in England have no jurisdiction in such matters in Scotland.
Donald Jack, Summerside Place, Leith
Shame on you, Councillor Dawe
COUNCILLOR Jenny Dawe thinks that she has improved Edinburgh against the odds (Letters, March 13).
Personally, I think Cllr Dawe should hang her head in shame at the way she has treated the people of Edinburgh and for the spending cuts she has inflicted upon public services.
And don’t get me started on that tram project.
Alan Lough, Dunbar
Boyle’s cartoon right on target
A PUBLIC accolade for cartoonist Frank Boyle, when one of the objects of his art saw fit to reply in print.
When Cllr Jenny Dawe wrote a letter to the News, it confirmed the cartoon had hit the bull’s eye!
Tom Reilly, Esslemont Road, Edinburgh