Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting TIMES NEWS to 80360, or email us
The Woodside Park Synagogue granted permission to create Eruv in Barnet
A synagogue was, last night, granted permission to create an Eruv in Woodside Park.
At a meeting of Barnet Borough Council’s Planning and Environment Committee, which took place at Hendon Town Hall, in The Burroughs, trustees for The Woodside Park Synagogue were granted permission for their plans.
They have been given three years to start work on the ritual enclosure, which will give Jewish people the ability to carry out activities, such as pushing prams and wheelchairs, on the Sabbath.
It will make it easier for people, especially those with children or with disabilities, to get around their neighbourhoods.
Jewish Law prohibits Orthodox Jews from carrying on the Sabbath, however, carrying is permitted within the defined boundary of an Eruv, as is the use of pushchairs, wheelchairs.
The Eruv boundary is formed by utilizing continuous local features, such as fences or walls, alongside roads, railways or terraced buildings.
However, where this continuity is not possible due to breaks in the boundary, such as roads, then this breach must be integrated by the erection of a notional 'gateway'.
Such a gateway consists of posts or poles linked on top by a wire or cross bar crossing the highway.
The Eruv, which will be constructed from wooden poles and wire, will pass through the wards of Coppetts, Brunswick Park, East Barnet, East Finchley, Mill Hill, Oakleigh, Totteridge, West Finchley and Woodhouse.
A number of conditions have been placed upon the planning permission, including that bat boxes must be attached to some of the wooden poles to maintain biodiversity, and that plans must be approved by Transport for London to ensure they will not compromise road safety.
According to the planning documents, the application was approved because the proposals would not have a negative impact upon the environment.
The documents say: “It is considered that the proposed 'gateways', by virtue of their siting and design, would not represent unduly intrusive additions in the street scene and would not result in an over proliferation of street furniture within the various townscapes.
“The developments proposed at the locations within the Conservation Area would have a neutral impact on its character and appearance.
“The openness of the Green Belt and/or Metropolitan Open Land would not be compromised by the 'gateways' proposed.”
Some local people did oppose the proposals for an Eruv on a number of grounds.
These included that it would be an eyesore, that it would make streets look cluttered and that it would damage wildlife.
However, planning officers decided that the benefits to the Jewish community would outweigh the disadvantages.
Woodside Park Synagogue’s Rabbi Hackenbroch said: “I am absolutely thrilled that we have received planning permission and am sure this will be of tremendous benefit in our community’s continued development.”