New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Discussion and debate on the issues affecting Portobello

Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby fresian » 06 Nov 2012, 14:24

Scoop:- That if my said disponees or their foresaids shall act contrary to any of the reservations, conditions, provisions and declarations herein expressed then this Feu Right and all that may have followed upon the same shall become void and null and the said area or piece of ground hereby disponed shall revert to me or my foresaids in like manner as if this Feu had never been granted."

Forgive me if this has already been covered, but this reads to me like Portobello Park will be returned to the heirs of Sir James Miller if the council try to build a school on it. I'm sure the council will have been in touch with them though.....

Surely the same would have applied when the Council built the changing rooms at the south east corner as well as the Gas governor building in the South west Corner.
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby seashell » 06 Nov 2012, 14:45

Okay, under the now-defuncy system of feudal tenure, it was possible for a superior to regain the land if the conditions were breached. What was more likely to happen is that the vassal would basically put their hands up in the air, say "it's a fair cop gov, you got me bang to rights." And the solution: a minute of variation, granted by the superior, allwoing the change - for a sum of money. That is what the superiority interest, or dominium directum, to give use the latin terminology, boiled down to - control of land you no longer had any physical ineterest in, but retained a power of overrule. That wasn't the only benefit of the dominium directum - it also meant you received an annual income in the form of feu duty from the vassal.

Basically, feudal tenure was an outmoded system, that had its roots in the middle ages, when instead of an annual payment of money, the vassal would be bound to raise X number of men (and horses etc) for the king - the days before Scotland had a standing army. Theoretically in feudal tenure all land could be traced back to the crown - which is why today the Crown still stands as ultimas haeres where no other heir to land can be found.

So while the holders of the superiority might have had a claim regarding these other structures, if they did not enforce their right, that time has passed and they have no recourse since the passing of the AFT Act (as it is snappily known). However, I suspect that a careful reading of the feu deed would disclose that structures required for the running/usage of the park would be allowed. And it may be that the ground the gas building is erected on was acquired by compulsary purchase powers. However, as I no longer work at RoS I am not going to volunteer for that particular task.

Sorry for the long-winded answer!
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby little miss moffat » 13 Nov 2012, 17:10

Received from Maureen Child:

Maureen Child
12:13 PM (3 hours ago)

to undisclosed recipients
Dear All

I apologise for the mistake in my last email about the date of the local Police Plan Engagement Event. It is, of course, on Wednesday 12 December in Portobello Town Hall, as the attached leaflet already said! On Wednesday (tomorrow) evening there IS a meeting in Portobello Town Hall at 7pm, but it is a consultation on a possible change in the catchment are of Portobello High School IF Castlebrae Community High School closes next summer.

Some email accounts will not have received this misinformation in any case as the Council's system has been hacked. As a direct result of phishing attempts, the Council emails (including mine) are getting bounce back messages advising that e-mails have been blocked by other Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Other ISPs have blacklisted the edinburgh.gov name. The root cause has been identified, but it will take some time before ISPs renew their confidence in the edinburgh.gov name. This affects hotmail in particular, but maybe other email accounts too. If anyone you know is complaining they haven't had an email response form me, this could well be why. All the more reason for you to share this information more widely (-;

Thank you for keeping me up to date with any ongoing problems with refuse collection. Please don't apologise for escalating any complaints to me. Every complaint is a gift - as they say - and the service will come right more quickly if you keep on complaining effectively.

The Council report on the future for Portobello High School and St John's Primary School is being finalised. It will be in the public domain this coming Thursday afternoon. You will be able to access it by clicking on http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/cpol searching and finding the agenda and papers for the City of Edinburgh Council Meeting of 22 November. It updates progress on the 'twin track' approach that the Council is taking and makes recommendations on the way forward from there.

Best wishes

Maureen
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Doris » 13 Nov 2012, 20:10

New today on the Portygreenkeepers website:

LIES, DAMNED LIES AND STATISTICS
Latest NewsPosted by Park Lover Tue, November 13, 2012 15:38:32

The triumphalist tone of those involved in the porty.org questionnaire about the new Portobello High School “survey results” is truly nauseating and completely unjustified. This garbage has unfortunately been swallowed by STV Local, who have emblazoned the claim that 90% of parents want the school built on the park on their website. STV should know better.

For a start this was not a valid or bona fide survey of any kind. It was a straw poll designed by a PFANS supporter and administered via a website that is known to be run by PFANS supporters. The person who designed the questionnaire clearly has no knowledge or understanding of, nor any expertise in, data collection or research methods.

Many parents were put off taking part in the “survey”, as they were concerned that the information collected about them would be used against them and their children if they did not say they supported the school on the park. There was no data protection statement made about for what purpose the data was being stored or for how long it was being stored. This quite possibly makes it illegal. Then there is the question of why the data is being stored on a Google server in America.

The questions were biassed and loaded, e.g. starting with "Do you support the new PHS being built on Portobello Park?", when the questionnaire's purpose was supposedly to ascertain views on alternative sites for the high school.

To be valid, the survey would have to take views from all those affected (not just those who would benefit most from a given outcome at a particular time). However, the general public were not asked for their views, only those with children at local schools.

If it had been an objective, properly designed questionnaire, being distributed through a wide variety of channels and being administered by a neutral party, it might have some validity but it was none of these things.
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby seanie » 13 Nov 2012, 20:39

They seem determined to ignore the fact there were 5 separate surveys.

And who cares where Google's servers are?
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby seashell » 13 Nov 2012, 21:26

A lot of that looks very familiar - from the BYOB facebook page. the bits about the Date Protection Act and the location of the Google servers (although what that has to do with anything is beyond me) etc.

Could it possibly be that BYOB = PPAG? Surely not?
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Sceptic » 14 Nov 2012, 11:31

You might very well think that. Moi? I could not possibly comment.
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Porty » 14 Nov 2012, 14:30

The Evening News have "fallen" for it too. Seems that most people are!!

http://www.scotsman.com/edinburgh-evening-news/education/holyrood-enters-porty-high-talks-1-2632423
.....ambition makes you look pretty ugly
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Porty » 17 Nov 2012, 12:12

I just read the Council report in its entirety.

One striking detail is the response to St John's Parent Council's survey of their community. You will recall that in the days when Alison Connelly ran the show and had months to garner community opinion, the parent council managed to get about 6 responses, the contents of which were never revealed. We were told the preferred options were Brownfield sites (Powerleague) and no way the vacant PHS site would be of any interest.

Funny then, that given three weeks, the current PC managed to dig up 153 responses, with the existing and or PHS site being far the most preferred option.

I still recall the chair of the then PC writing to the school community urging them not to opt for a new school. Fucking despicable.
.....ambition makes you look pretty ugly
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Sceptic » 18 Nov 2012, 13:45

Language Timothy!

Do you imply that the PCC have "cooked" the response?

Remember that a new school is the ONLY option, refurbishment under PPI has been consigned to the dustbin. Refurbishment is too expensive, takes too long and causes all kinds of logistical problems.
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby neilking » 19 Nov 2012, 16:25

I thought the most interesting paras of the report were:-

"2.9 On 25 October 2012 it was reported to Council that there was a further review
ongoing of the classification of Portobello Park as part of the common good of
the city, in respect of which Council approved the recommendation that in the
absence of any new facts coming to light which clarify the matter beyond doubt,
the Council would seek a Court declarator on this point. This review has now
been completed. As was noted in the October report to Council, this is an area
of law in which there was, and continues to be, a lack of certainty, and as part of
this review the Council has obtained further opinions from an external law firm
and also from senior Counsel. This review also included fresh research of the
Council’s archives, and analysis of papers located there.

2.10 This review has concluded that there are very poor prospects of the Council
being successful in seeking a declarator from the Court that Portobello Park is
not inalienable common good land. In addition, the legal advice received by the
Council is that no such declarator should be sought. Given this, and the
potential cost of such a court action, it is recommended that these new facts are
noted as clarifying the matter beyond doubt, and that no such declarator is
sought, with efforts instead focussed on the other options available to the
Council. Council is asked to note it is the intention that this legal advice will be
released into the public domain following the Council meeting."


I'll be fascinated to see whether further facts have been uncovered which trump those already in the public domain which suggest the park is not common good and/or whether, even if that's not the case, the Council has been advised it couldn't win the declarator for procedural reasons (e.g. the declarator would, in effect, be a further appeal against the Paton judgement).
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Doris » 20 Nov 2012, 22:28

From today's letter page in EEN:

Powerful case for new school site

The proposal to provide a new Portobello High School has entered another phase following the emphatic ruling that the council acted ultra vires in appropriating Portobello Park. That is, it is not lawful to build on Portobello Park.

One option is that Portobello High School moves to the Baileyfield (Scottish Power) site with the possibility of providing a second all-weather pitch on the adjacent council depot.

The Baileyfield site option brings so many more benefits for all by providing an environment that reinvigorates this part of the High Street and it should not be dismissed with a simple knee-jerk reaction.

We could have a new high school, an expanded site for St John’s, provide housing on the old school land and design improvements for Portobello Park.

Beware of the promise to make part of the existing site a replacement park as this only returns us to the position held in 2006 with the pledge of replacement open space, something that was subsequently reneged by the council.

The council is pinning much on a private act that it says, with optimism, can be delivered within 14 months. Remember that the council has previously stated that there is no legal impediment to building on the park, so it might be wise to critically assess what is said.

What if the council is wrong again? Why go through this uncertainty when there is a viable alternative in developing the Baileyfield area that is deliverable within a known timescale?

Stephen Hawkins, Portobello, Edinburgh
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby seashell » 21 Nov 2012, 00:18

Mr Hawkins clearly wasn't paying attention during his English lessons at school: he glibly states that Baileyfield brings "so many more benefits". So many more benefits than what is the question - and a question he does not answer. Does it bring more benefits than not doing anything at all? your guess is as good as mine. It's obvious why he failed to expand on his intitial statement, because who could argue coherently that it is better to build a school on a site that is too small and sandwiched between two major roads than to build it on a large and largely unused space where there would also be the opportunity to create further amenities for the public.

It is debatable whether or not building a school on Baileyfield would "re-invigorate the high street", as he so glibly claims - but it has to be admitted that a housing development would most likely have a greater impact on the local economy than school children buying their lunches.

One suspects that his ringing endorsement of Baileyfield is, to quote the man himself "a knee jerk reaction". And that's without going into small details like the possibility of contaminated land.
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby little miss moffat » 21 Nov 2012, 13:27

seashell wrote:Mr Hawkins clearly wasn't paying attention during his English lessons at school: he glibly states that Baileyfield brings "so many more benefits". So many more benefits than what is the question - and a question he does not answer. Does it bring more benefits than not doing anything at all? your guess is as good as mine. It's obvious why he failed to expand on his intitial statement, because who could argue coherently that it is better to build a school on a site that is too small and sandwiched between two major roads than to build it on a large and largely unused space where there would also be the opportunity to create further amenities for the public.

It is debatable whether or not building a school on Baileyfield would "re-invigorate the high street", as he so glibly claims - but it has to be admitted that a housing development would most likely have a greater impact on the local economy than school children buying their lunches.

One suspects that his ringing endorsement of Baileyfield is, to quote the man himself "a knee jerk reaction". And that's without going into small details like the possibility of contaminated land.


=D> =D> =D> =D>
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby fresian » 21 Nov 2012, 13:41

Porty: One striking detail is the response to St John's Parent Council's survey of their community. You will recall that in the days when Alison Connelly ran the show and had months to garner community opinion, the parent council managed to get about 6 responses, the contents of which were never revealed. We were told the preferred options were Brownfield sites (Powerleague) and no way the vacant PHS site would be of any interest.

Funny then, that given three weeks, the current PC managed to dig up 153 responses, with the existing and or PHS site being far the most preferred option.

Always did wonder why it is certain people always manage to get themselves on to these committees
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby David Robertson » 23 Nov 2012, 16:06

Porty wrote:I just read the Council report in its entirety.

One striking detail is the response to St John's Parent Council's survey of their community. You will recall that in the days when Alison Connelly ran the show and had months to garner community opinion, the parent council managed to get about 6 responses, the contents of which were never revealed. We were told the preferred options were Brownfield sites (Powerleague) and no way the vacant PHS site would be of any interest.

Funny then, that given three weeks, the current PC managed to dig up 153 responses, with the existing and or PHS site being far the most preferred option.

I still recall the chair of the then PC writing to the school community urging them not to opt for a new school. Fucking despicable.


What do you make of this ?

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/download/me ... ary_school

Sorry if it does not work but you can cut and paste or whatever that term is !
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby seashell » 23 Nov 2012, 18:36

Very interesting reading. And shows clearly that the Baileyfield site is not big enough, despite what the BYOB facebook page might have you believe. Good to see that the air quality (or lack thereof) was also highlighted, along with a blank regarding safe routes to school. All of which BYOB wilfully chose to ignore.

Can anyone read this objectively and not see that the overwhelming (or should that be "significant"?) majority of people want a school on the park?
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby seanie » 23 Nov 2012, 22:21

The report's pretty persuasive as to why the overwhelming majority of people should favour the park, but as to whether they do, we can only hope people make the effort to respond to the consultation. Those who are opposed certainly will, those in favour might assume the argument's so strong there's no need to bother.
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Re: Woodwares closing / Sainsburys coming to Portobello

Postby gillian » 28 Nov 2012, 18:51

seanie wrote:Too high, too dense, not in keeping with the neighbouring Conservation Area, traffic and parking issues, blocking vistas, the use of brick...

The objections are still up on the planning portal if you search for 09/01029/FUL.

Good job a new school would not be too high, too dense, have traffic and parking issues, wouldn't block vistas, and would be in keeping with the Conservation area then!!! Otherwise the aforementioned objectors would be having to object to planning application for it.

admin: split from Woodwares closing / Sainsburys coming to Portobello
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Re: Woodwares closing / Sainsburys coming to Portobello

Postby seashell » 28 Nov 2012, 19:20

Excent points, Rosa.
But of course you are applying logic to the topic. Something that is sadly lacking from the mindset of those who believe the undersized, polluted, undermined by clay-pit site at Baileyfield is nevertheless an ideal site for a school. "Ideal" in this instance means it is nowhere near the denizens of Park Avenue.
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Re: Woodwares closing / Sainsburys coming to Portobello

Postby Sceptic » 28 Nov 2012, 20:25

Instead of "Build it at Baileyfield", how about "Put it up on the Park"?
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Re: Woodwares closing / Sainsburys coming to Portobello

Postby seashell » 28 Nov 2012, 21:21

that's a lot better than my first idea which was:

Just do it in the Park.
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Sceptic » 29 Nov 2012, 08:15

Ah Seashell, it depends on what you are actually DOING in the Park. A little bit of alliteration goes a long way, mind you, scepticism and sarcasm can be funnier! Could this be from "A Group of Parents and Traders promoting the idea of a new improved school for Portobello", surely not?
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby seashell » 29 Nov 2012, 08:56

Sceptic - the nice thing about your slogan is that it could be multi-purpose.
For example, why not settle the whole sorry affair by an amateur boxing competion, the residents of Park Avenue against all-comers - Just "Put It Up" in the Park.
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby nessiegirl » 29 Nov 2012, 21:04

There is a sign up at Baileyfield saying closing date for offers 12th December. Whats that all about? is it the whole site?
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Sceptic » 29 Nov 2012, 21:40

It means there is an opportunity for someone to make a nice fat profit.
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Doris » 30 Nov 2012, 20:14

The glitches in the Council webcam appear to have been fixed and you can now watch the deputations by PPAG (Item 3.1a), Build it on Baileyfield (Item 3.1b) and Portobello High School Parent Council (Item 3.1c) at the full Council meeting on 22nd November.

Approximate start times are PPAG - 7mins 30
Build it on Baileyfield at 28 mins 50
PHS Parent Council at 37 mins 40

http://www.edinburgh.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/86667
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby little miss moffat » 30 Nov 2012, 20:16

Got this email 5 hours ago:

Andy Wightman
2:06 PM (5 hours ago)


Land Matters has posted a new item, 'Portobello Freedom of Information'

Ms Diana Cairns of Portobello Community Council submitted a Freedom of
Information request to the City of Edinburgh Council for information about what
advice I have given to the Council, how much I have been paid and for copies of
emails between myself and the Council.

The Council's reply letter is here.

The Council's FoI release is [...]

You may view the latest post at
http://www.andywightman.com/?p=1898
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Bob Jefferson » 30 Nov 2012, 20:54

She wrote on behalf of Portobello Community Council? That seems a bit odd, doesn't it?
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Makaveli » 30 Nov 2012, 21:15

Why have the PCC asked for this information?
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Bob Jefferson » 30 Nov 2012, 21:25

I'm not sure the PCC know anything about it from what I can gather, so why is the reply addressed to Diana Cairns, Portobello Community Council?
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby Makaveli » 30 Nov 2012, 21:26

Thanks for the link Doris - very interesting to put faces to names!!!!!

Certainly gives you food for thought about a few things :thumbup:
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby seashell » 30 Nov 2012, 23:28

Makaveli wrote:Why have the PCC asked for this information?


Indeed.
And when did the PCC ask DC to do this? I can't recall seeing any reference to this in the minutes.
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Re: New Portobello High School - PPAG win legal appeal

Postby urchaidh » 01 Dec 2012, 00:27

Bob Jefferson wrote:She wrote on behalf of Portobello Community Council? That seems a bit odd, doesn't it?


Just saw Andy Wightman's tweet and this and 'odd' was not the first word I thought of; the CC is supposedly neutral (ha!) on the school/park issue, this is either misrepresentation of or by the CC . The odd bit is that the FOI request would not have been dealt with any differently by coming from the CC, so why would DC present it that way?

It feels like there are two community councils, the public one and then some shady cabal who are actually running the show. There must be some way to force an election before September.
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