Legal action against Etz Chaim Jewish free school rejected

Times Series: Etz Chaim chairman of governors, Adam Dawson with parents and pupils Etz Chaim chairman of governors, Adam Dawson with parents and pupils

Legal action to prevent a Jewish free school being built at a former garden centre in Mill Hill has been quashed.

Campaigners lodged a judicial review accusing Barnet Council of ignoring the needs of elderly and disabled people under the Equalities Act after it granted planning permission to Etz Chaim Primary School in January.

Opponents wanted the former Wyevale Garden Centre, in Daws Lane, to continue to be used as a recreational and educational facility for the whole community.

However Mr Justice Lindblom dismissed the appeal brought by Milespit Hill resident Daniel Coleman, who is disabled and used to visit the centre every week.

Concluding the decision on Friday, December 21, Mr Lindblom said: “The claimant’s argument on this issue is, in my view, misconceived.”

As a result Etz Chaim will open its doors at the former garden centre in September next year.

The school already has 76 pupils, who are being taught in a council building in the same road.

Adam Dawson, the school’s chairman of governors, said: “The High Court's emphatic judgment speaks for itself, with the judge dismissing each and every argument the school's objectors brought.

“Far more exciting than the ill-conceived litigation is that we have received 130 applications for our 26 place 2013 Nursery class.

“The school continues to go from strength to strength and we look forward to welcoming the whole community to the new site very soon.”

But Mr Coleman and others who hoped to benefit from training at the garden centre are distraught.

Mr Coleman's mother Zoe Samuelson said: “Daniel is devastated by the judgement. He knows that at least two organisations would have opened a centre, one of which specialises in training and employing special people with learning disabilities.

“He has received hundreds of messages from the elderly expressing their devastation too.

“Daniel has not been anywhere independently since the centre closed. He knows this decision means he will remain alone for the rest of his life, unable to have that feeling of independence he once enjoyed.”

Comments (5)

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6:05pm Thu 27 Dec 12

ellissydney says...

Now I'm a person of great empathy and of course I feel a great deal of sadness for Daniel however does any else feel slight sceptical on the detail contained within the last paragraph?

My issue being that Milespit Hill is the wrong end of Wise Lane to be anywhere near the old Garden Centre on Daws Lane - over a mile I would estimate?
Now I'm a person of great empathy and of course I feel a great deal of sadness for Daniel however does any else feel slight sceptical on the detail contained within the last paragraph? My issue being that Milespit Hill is the wrong end of Wise Lane to be anywhere near the old Garden Centre on Daws Lane - over a mile I would estimate? ellissydney
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Thu 27 Dec 12

NW7 James says...

What a surprise. A high court judge has just said that the action group's case was "misconceived" - surely that translates to a waste of time. Worse still its a huge waste of public time effort and money. If mr Coleman and his mates wanted to do good for the mill hill community they should have taken a leaf out of mr dawsons book and used their efforts and our tax and rates payers monies to create rather than attempt to destroy! I am amazed they took it this far.

Also amazed that poor mr coleman hasn't left the house in 18 months. Maybe instead of lining the pockets of lawyers abd wasting public time and money his supporters should have actually raised funds to improve poor mr colemans circumstances. Surely that would have been best for all!!!!
What a surprise. A high court judge has just said that the action group's case was "misconceived" - surely that translates to a waste of time. Worse still its a huge waste of public time effort and money. If mr Coleman and his mates wanted to do good for the mill hill community they should have taken a leaf out of mr dawsons book and used their efforts and our tax and rates payers monies to create rather than attempt to destroy! I am amazed they took it this far. Also amazed that poor mr coleman hasn't left the house in 18 months. Maybe instead of lining the pockets of lawyers abd wasting public time and money his supporters should have actually raised funds to improve poor mr colemans circumstances. Surely that would have been best for all!!!! NW7 James
  • Score: 0

8:55pm Thu 27 Dec 12

not a nimby says...

Let this be an end to all of the sniping, nasty comments, threats and generally unpleasent comments surrounding this new school.

The judge has made his decision and the opponents will now have to accept that the school will open on the site in September.

To add to previous comments - I too have a heart but to say that Mr Coleman will remain alone for the rest of his life because of the closure of the garden centre seems a very exaggerated comment. I am sure that the cafe in Mill Hill Park would welcome his custom (obviously once the weather improves).

Congratulations to Mr Dawson et al on the successful court case.
Let this be an end to all of the sniping, nasty comments, threats and generally unpleasent comments surrounding this new school. The judge has made his decision and the opponents will now have to accept that the school will open on the site in September. To add to previous comments - I too have a heart but to say that Mr Coleman will remain alone for the rest of his life because of the closure of the garden centre seems a very exaggerated comment. I am sure that the cafe in Mill Hill Park would welcome his custom (obviously once the weather improves). Congratulations to Mr Dawson et al on the successful court case. not a nimby
  • Score: 0

9:25pm Thu 27 Dec 12

Derek Collins says...

Hear hear. As a neighbour I am delighted this disagreement has come to an end with, what appears to be, common sense prevailing!

Congratulations to the school, make good on your promises to be a model neighbour and I'm positive the wider community will be delighted.
Hear hear. As a neighbour I am delighted this disagreement has come to an end with, what appears to be, common sense prevailing! Congratulations to the school, make good on your promises to be a model neighbour and I'm positive the wider community will be delighted. Derek Collins
  • Score: 0

9:43am Fri 28 Dec 12

WhyaretheresomanyNIMBY'S says...

Congratulations to Mr Dawson and the school trust. As a member of the community (not a parent of the school), i am very pleased with the positive outcome, and delighted that all the hard work by the above had paid off.
I am very excited to see the new school building next year, and look forward to the children finally benefiting from the excellent resources.
Congratulations to Mr Dawson and the school trust. As a member of the community (not a parent of the school), i am very pleased with the positive outcome, and delighted that all the hard work by the above had paid off. I am very excited to see the new school building next year, and look forward to the children finally benefiting from the excellent resources. WhyaretheresomanyNIMBY'S
  • Score: 0

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