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City of Edinburgh Council (Portobello Park) Act 2014

Section 3

15.The Council’s intention in drafting the Act was to limit the power of appropriation so that the Park could only be appropriated for the Council’s education functions, and to ensure that the Park’s legal status was otherwise unchanged. Section 3 is intended to safeguard the future use of the land and to ensure the protection given by its inalienable common good status would continue to apply in circumstances where it was no longer to be used for an educational purpose.

16.Subsection (2) reapplies the previous legal and title restrictions if, after appropriation, one of two trigger events takes place. Those two trigger events are set out in subsection (1) and are:


the expiry of an “opportunity period” (defined in section 3(3)) of 10 years from the date of appropriation without the Park having been used during that period for the purposes of the Council’s education authority functions; or


the Park, having been used for educational purposes, ceasing to be so used.

17.“Previous legal and title restrictions” is defined in subsection (3) to mean the law and terms of the disposition as would have applied to the Park immediately before the occurrence of one of the trigger events, on the assumption that the appropriation had never occurred in the first place.

18.The effect of these provisions would be to ‘reset’ the Park’s legal status and put it back in the position it would have been in the day before the relevant trigger event had it never been appropriated. Any changes in the law applying generally to common good land, and which were made after the Park’s appropriation, would therefore apply to the Park.

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