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John Kelly (Letters, 5 April) expresses concern for the moral welfare of the children of Portobello over a new school building in the ground at the top of Portobello Park.

While he is thinking about ethics might I suggest he considers whether it is good for children to see adults attempt to achieve their ends by misrepresenting the facts, delaying justice to the point that it is potentially denied, and going against the best interests and wishes of the majority of a community.

If the opponents of the school lose their appeal they will have lost our money, their money, and their reputation in the community; if they win they will have lost our money, their reputation, and defeated the educational needs and welfare of countless 11- to 18-year-olds. What a victory.

If Mr Kelly, and others around Portobello Park, are really concerned for the welfare of the children of the community and their own standing, can I suggest an alternative?

Have it in you to recognise that the loss of a small area of little used land is a small price to pay to achieve the best possible education for those children.

Tom Ballantine

Dalkeith Street


I can understand the frustration of people desperate for a new school to be built in Portobello, but it is unfair to take it out on the Portobello Park Action Group. In 2006 the then leader of the council announced that the council’s intention was to build “affordable housing” on Portobello Park to help pay for the building of a school in the park, a proposal greeted with outrage at the time.

If the council has changed its mind, it can easily change it back again. As I understand it, according to Lady Dorrian’s judgment, acts of Parliament in 1959 and 1973 permit councils to alienate inalienable Common Good land. The law just does not make sense.

John Kelly

Park Avenue