Common good

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Much discussion has taken place over recent years on the much-needed new Portobello High School. However, the contribution from Lynn Sylvester (Platform, 
16 February) distracts from the core issue. While other local authorities have taken notice of the case, that is due to the bizarre implications of the surprise ruling from the Inner House. As things stand, it is legally possible for councils to sell inalienable common good land, but impossible to change the use of such assets regardless of what public benefits or public support there may be.

Perhaps the Scottish Parliament will need to look at the legislation surrounding common good land, but one thing is certain: a private bill allowing a new school to be built on part of Portobello Park will not affect the status of any other common good land or other open spaces as the bill would be specific to Portobello Park alone.

The central problem remains the urgent need to replace the largest school in Edinburgh. 
Everyone values public green space, and the proposals do involve the loss of some parkland. However, the arguments in favour of building the school on Portobello Park are compelling, especially given the proposed new park that would keep that loss to a minimum. That is why the proposals have such strong support in the local community.

Sean Watters

Brighton Place

Portobello, Edinburgh