Finchley Reform Synagogue calls halt to extension plans as neighbours protest

Times Series: Neighbours take a look at the plans put forward by Finchley Reform Synagogue Neighbours take a look at the plans put forward by Finchley Reform Synagogue

A synagogue in Finchley has called a halt to its extension plans following objections from neighbours.

A total of 159 people objected to the proposals brought forward by Finchley Reform Synagogue (FRS) who want to expand their current site in Fallow Court Avenue.

Their aim was to demolish part of the 50-year-old building and erect a modern, two storey extension which would include multi-purpose rooms as well as the synagogue’s existing kindergarten.

Rabbi Miriam Berger told the Times Series: “Twenty years ago when people came to the synagogue they came for a service and all sat in prayer together. Now people have different needs and want to approach prayer in different ways.

“The plans would allow us to have flexible spaces so people can pray how they want in different rooms whether they to do that through study, with their children or by singing.”

However, neighbours objected to the plans saying it would increase traffic in the area, limit the amount of sunlight to nearby homes and detriment the aesthetics of the street.

Muireann Kelly, who has lived in Fallow Court Avenue for 16 years, said: “There would have been a 50 per cent increase in their floor space which of course would mean more people using the synagogue.

"The parking in this area is already ridiculous and it would only get worse if the plans went ahead.

“The proposed new building also looks like a fortress with a wall all the way round it – we don’t want to live near somewhere like that.”

Tuku Banerji, who lives adjacent to FRS, added: “We’re not against the synagogue being there, it’s the fact they didn’t consult with us properly. It got everyone’s back up.”

Rabbi Berger said the synagogue will take into consideration residents’ opinions before resubmitting the plans to Barnet Borough Council.

She said: “We want to stop and listen to our neighbours and make sure that when we do resubmit they feel they have been heard.

“We want to be responsible neighbours and we take our position in the community seriously. We hope to resubmit the plans as soon as possible.”

Comments (13)

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12:56pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA Resident says...

The planning application had to be withdrawn as it was highlighted by objectors just before the Committee Meeting 12/11/12 that the application was fundamentally flawed, the plans encompassed public land and there were inaccuracies and discrepancies throughout all documents relating to the application and Barnet Council’s Report to the Committee.
The planning application had to be withdrawn as it was highlighted by objectors just before the Committee Meeting 12/11/12 that the application was fundamentally flawed, the plans encompassed public land and there were inaccuracies and discrepancies throughout all documents relating to the application and Barnet Council’s Report to the Committee. FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA Resident says...

This application was put through as a 102sqm (16.8%) increase in floor space wholly for circulation when in fact it was for a 281sqm (50%) increase in floor space for a multi-purpose/multi-
functional complex to include a café, bookshop, library, multi-function spaces, a sanctuary, kindergarten for 60 children, offices and meeting rooms, etc.
This application was put through as a 102sqm (16.8%) increase in floor space wholly for circulation when in fact it was for a 281sqm (50%) increase in floor space for a multi-purpose/multi- functional complex to include a café, bookshop, library, multi-function spaces, a sanctuary, kindergarten for 60 children, offices and meeting rooms, etc. FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA Resident says...

The Planning Consultants and Barnet Council Planning only alluded to the increase in floor space on the ground floor and omitted to mention or take into account the 179sqm increase in floor space on the first floor of the proposed redevelopment.
The Planning Consultants and Barnet Council Planning only alluded to the increase in floor space on the ground floor and omitted to mention or take into account the 179sqm increase in floor space on the first floor of the proposed redevelopment. FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA Resident says...

The proposed redevelopment was for a 7 metre high fortress-like building, surrounded by a 2 metre high fence, completely out of character with the surrounding residential Edwardian and Victorian houses, wrapping the perimeter of three streets, on the boundary, with no set back so it was not in line with all houses and flats in the area, felling all the trees, destroying the open space and causing a loss of neighbours’ sunlight, daylight, outlook and privacy.
The proposed redevelopment was for a 7 metre high fortress-like building, surrounded by a 2 metre high fence, completely out of character with the surrounding residential Edwardian and Victorian houses, wrapping the perimeter of three streets, on the boundary, with no set back so it was not in line with all houses and flats in the area, felling all the trees, destroying the open space and causing a loss of neighbours’ sunlight, daylight, outlook and privacy. FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA Resident says...

The proposed redevelopment was for a 7 metre high fortress-like building, surrounded by a 2 metre high fence, completely out of character with the surrounding residential Edwardian and Victorian houses, wrapping the perimeter of three streets, on the boundary, with no set back so it was not in line with all houses and flats in the area, felling all the trees, destroying the open space and causing a loss of neighbours’ sunlight, daylight, outlook and privacy.
The proposed redevelopment was for a 7 metre high fortress-like building, surrounded by a 2 metre high fence, completely out of character with the surrounding residential Edwardian and Victorian houses, wrapping the perimeter of three streets, on the boundary, with no set back so it was not in line with all houses and flats in the area, felling all the trees, destroying the open space and causing a loss of neighbours’ sunlight, daylight, outlook and privacy. FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA Resident says...

FRS deferred the application from the Committee Meeting 4/10/12 as Barnet Council’s Report to the Committee restricted their kindergarten to the 42 children they obtained permission for in 2000.

The Grant of Planning Permission June 2000 states:
“The number of children on the premises at any one time for the purposes of the
kindergarten use shall not exceed 42.
Reason: To safeguard the residential amenities of neighbouring occupiers.”

Barnet Council have not enforced this thereby failing to safeguard the amenities of local residents and neighbours.
FRS deferred the application from the Committee Meeting 4/10/12 as Barnet Council’s Report to the Committee restricted their kindergarten to the 42 children they obtained permission for in 2000. The Grant of Planning Permission June 2000 states: “The number of children on the premises at any one time for the purposes of the kindergarten use shall not exceed 42. Reason: To safeguard the residential amenities of neighbouring occupiers.” Barnet Council have not enforced this thereby failing to safeguard the amenities of local residents and neighbours. FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA Resident says...

FRS then added to the application a request to retrospectively increase numbers from 42 to 60 for the kindergarten which has been operating unlawfully by exceeding the permitted numbers by 45% for some years.
FRS then added to the application a request to retrospectively increase numbers from 42 to 60 for the kindergarten which has been operating unlawfully by exceeding the permitted numbers by 45% for some years. FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA Resident says...

The synagogue membership has increased by 5000+% since it began with 20 families attending services and the activities taking place on the site now, including a Parent & Toddler Group for an additional 30 adults and 30 children on site during kindergarten hours, Guides, Youth Club, Sunday morning Hebrew Classes, Bridge Club, Friendship Club, Conversion Courses, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Classes, After School Club, Quiz Nights, Friday night Dinner Club, fund raising events, Music Group, etc., etc. has made life intolerable for local residents.
The synagogue membership has increased by 5000+% since it began with 20 families attending services and the activities taking place on the site now, including a Parent & Toddler Group for an additional 30 adults and 30 children on site during kindergarten hours, Guides, Youth Club, Sunday morning Hebrew Classes, Bridge Club, Friendship Club, Conversion Courses, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Classes, After School Club, Quiz Nights, Friday night Dinner Club, fund raising events, Music Group, etc., etc. has made life intolerable for local residents. FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA Resident says...

The traffic flow, congestion and parking situation in the adjoining streets has been extremely adversely affected and endangers residents, drivers and pedestrians. Residents have to plan outings, shopping and visitors around usage of the FRS complex.
The traffic flow, congestion and parking situation in the adjoining streets has been extremely adversely affected and endangers residents, drivers and pedestrians. Residents have to plan outings, shopping and visitors around usage of the FRS complex. FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA Resident says...

Had the recent house fire in Fallow Court Avenue started a couple of hours later than it did, at a time when 16 kindergarten and office staff were on site, 60 parents arriving to drop off at the kindergarten and 30 parents arriving to attend the parent & toddler group, access for emergency vehicles would have been impossible and the fire brigade might not have been able to prevent the fire spreading to neighbouring houses. In fact, it was only the timely arrival of the fire brigade that prevented the adjoining house catching fire.
Had the recent house fire in Fallow Court Avenue started a couple of hours later than it did, at a time when 16 kindergarten and office staff were on site, 60 parents arriving to drop off at the kindergarten and 30 parents arriving to attend the parent & toddler group, access for emergency vehicles would have been impossible and the fire brigade might not have been able to prevent the fire spreading to neighbouring houses. In fact, it was only the timely arrival of the fire brigade that prevented the adjoining house catching fire. FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA Resident says...

The majority of supporters are members and users of FRS, most of whom do not live within walking distance of the site, whereas the majority of objectors are local residents and neighbours who are directly affected by the activities hosted by FRS day in, day out, for nigh on 365 days a year.
The majority of supporters are members and users of FRS, most of whom do not live within walking distance of the site, whereas the majority of objectors are local residents and neighbours who are directly affected by the activities hosted by FRS day in, day out, for nigh on 365 days a year. FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA Resident says...

FRS had an opportunity to consult their neighbours before they registered their planning application with Barnet Council.

Stage 2 Complaints have been made to Barnet Council over their handling of this application.

This otherwise wholly residential area cannot bear any additional increase or intensification of use of the FRS site.
FRS had an opportunity to consult their neighbours before they registered their planning application with Barnet Council. Stage 2 Complaints have been made to Barnet Council over their handling of this application. This otherwise wholly residential area cannot bear any additional increase or intensification of use of the FRS site. FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

3:32pm Sat 2 Feb 13

FCA 2 Resident says...

Let's hope a solution is found that is agreeable to all concerned.
Let's hope a solution is found that is agreeable to all concerned. FCA 2 Resident
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

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