Neighbours unhappy as Finchley Reform Synagogue kindergarten seeks authorisation for larger classes

Times Series: Finchley Reform Synagogue in Fallow Court Avenue. Finchley Reform Synagogue in Fallow Court Avenue.

A synagogue has applied for permission to increase the number of children attending its kindergarten, as it prepares to submit plans to extend its North Finchley premises.

Finchley Reform Synagogue in Fallow Court Avenue has increased its intake from up to 42 children to 60 children over the past few years, but despite having approval from Ofsted, Barnet Council has not sanctioned the increase.

The synagogue hopes to rectify this at the east area planning sub-committee meeting on Thursday, and has also applied to extend the kindergarten's opening time by 15 minutes in the mornings so that children can be dropped off from 8.15am instead of 8.30am.

While 118 people have sent letters of support to the council, 36 neighbours have signed a petition against the plans and resident Wendy Bernardelle delivered more than 250 individually signed objection letters to the council last week.

Many of the complaints centre around the build-up of traffic which residents say is caused by people attending the synagogue or dropping off their children at the kindergarten.

Mrs Bernardelle, who has lived in Fallow Court Avenue for 22 years, said: “Residents cannot live normal lives due to the high levels of kindergarten-generated traffic and the number of people parking illegally, for example on double yellow lines and over driveways.

“We’re very happy to have such a lovely kindergarten in the vicinity but the site is just too small in a densely populated, highly residential area. They should stick to the authorised number of 42 children.

“We have to plan our lives around the synagogue’s peak times and activities, planning when we go out or have friends to visit, and residents cannot park within a reasonable distance of their home.

"One’s home should be a sanctuary, but it’s just chaos.”

Muireann Couque, who has lived in the road for 17 years and is a member of North Finchley Town Team, is also concerned about the level of traffic the synagogue generates in the area.

She said: “It’s really bad – you cannot get in and out of the bottom of the road at times, and people park on double yellow lines. It’s just crazy, and it’s only a matter of time before a child is killed.”

But the synagogue’s Principal Rabbi, Miriam Berger, has said traffic is just part of living in the area and is not limited to Fallow Court Avenue.

She said: “Being near to a station and shops and schools and nurseries – it all generates traffic. It’s an unfortunate fact of living in this area.

“We’ve been operating with this number of children for many years but the only complaints have been since we began talking about our rebuilding project. I feel this is simply a tool against our rebuilding.”

The synagogue submitted plans 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 existing kindergarten.

But when a total of 159 people objected to the proposals, the FRS called a halt to its plans in order to reconsider neighbours’ opinions on the expansion. A date has not been set for when these plans will be submitted.

Comments (4)

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2:24am Wed 8 Jan 14

Another FCA Resident says...

FRS unlawfully increased the kindergarten numbers from 42 to 60.
FRS knew they were operating unlawfully at least since May 2010.
FRS were reminded Jan 2011 that they were in breach of conditions:
over 42 in kindergarten, continued use of temporary extension.
FRS were reminded Jan 2011 of the permitted hours of use.
FRS unlawfully retained the kindergarten extension building for which they had only temporary permission until 1 Sept 2005. Conditions imposed with this permission re-iterated that the extension was NOT to allow FRS to increase or intensify use.
FRS unlawfully increased the hours of use of the kindergarten by commencing breakfast club AFTER they were reminded of the hours of use in Jan 2011.
As commented above, the site is too small for any increase in use of the kindergarten or any other activity or expansion.
It is in a residential area which was fine when it was smallscale but it has got bigger and bigger over the years and it really does cause serious problems for all the neighbours and residents. There is illegal parking every day which makes it very unsafe for people trying to cross the road and cyclists and driving. Residents and neighbours have been objecting to FRS planning applications for decades and have also complained many times to FRS.
Residents and neighbours only object because of all the problems it causes for us with parking and traffic and congestion and illegal parking and safety and noise and inconvenience and FRS do not show any real concern for the problems they directly cause us. Perhaps they could buy a piece of land nearby and use it for parking so their people stop causing these problems.
Please note that the previous planning application for rebuilding was not withdrawn 'in order to reconsider neighbours' opinions. It had to be withdrawn because it was illegal. FRS were planning to expand the buildings by another 50% of useable space but their Planning Consultant and Barnet Council were trying to get permission for it as a 16.8% expansion 'wholly for circulation.'
FRS unlawfully increased the kindergarten numbers from 42 to 60. FRS knew they were operating unlawfully at least since May 2010. FRS were reminded Jan 2011 that they were in breach of conditions: over 42 in kindergarten, continued use of temporary extension. FRS were reminded Jan 2011 of the permitted hours of use. FRS unlawfully retained the kindergarten extension building for which they had only temporary permission until 1 Sept 2005. Conditions imposed with this permission re-iterated that the extension was NOT to allow FRS to increase or intensify use. FRS unlawfully increased the hours of use of the kindergarten by commencing breakfast club AFTER they were reminded of the hours of use in Jan 2011. As commented above, the site is too small for any increase in use of the kindergarten or any other activity or expansion. It is in a residential area which was fine when it was smallscale but it has got bigger and bigger over the years and it really does cause serious problems for all the neighbours and residents. There is illegal parking every day which makes it very unsafe for people trying to cross the road and cyclists and driving. Residents and neighbours have been objecting to FRS planning applications for decades and have also complained many times to FRS. Residents and neighbours only object because of all the problems it causes for us with parking and traffic and congestion and illegal parking and safety and noise and inconvenience and FRS do not show any real concern for the problems they directly cause us. Perhaps they could buy a piece of land nearby and use it for parking so their people stop causing these problems. Please note that the previous planning application for rebuilding was not withdrawn 'in order to reconsider neighbours' opinions. It had to be withdrawn because it was illegal. FRS were planning to expand the buildings by another 50% of useable space but their Planning Consultant and Barnet Council were trying to get permission for it as a 16.8% expansion 'wholly for circulation.' Another FCA Resident
  • Score: -1

11:29am Wed 8 Jan 14

Another FCA Resident says...

The Rabbi says traffic is just part of living in the area and is not limited to Fallow Court Avenue.

The CONTINUOUS ILLEGAL, IRRESPONSIBLE AND INCONSIDERATE PARKING THAT RESIDENTS IN FALLOW COURT AVENUE & MONTROSE CRESCENT & OTHER STREETS NEAR THE SITE FACE 7 DAYS A WEEK IS DIRECTLY GENERATED BY FRS & FRS KINDERGARTEN.

The Rabbi says “We’ve been operating with this number of children for many years but the only complaints have been since we began talking about our rebuilding project. I feel this is simply a tool against our rebuilding.”

OBJECTIONS WERE MADE TO BARNET COUNCIL THROUGHOUT THE 1990s. COMPLAINTS HAVE BEEN MADE DIRECTLY TO FRS FOR AT LEAST 20 YEARS ABOUT PARKING, TRAFFIC, NOISE, ETC.

It has been reported that FRS called a halt to its plans in order to reconsider neighbours’ opinions on the expansion.

THE PLANNING APPLICATION FOR THE REBUILDING HAD TO BE WITH WITHDRAWN - AS DETAILED IN AN EARLIER COMMENT.
The Rabbi says traffic is just part of living in the area and is not limited to Fallow Court Avenue. The CONTINUOUS ILLEGAL, IRRESPONSIBLE AND INCONSIDERATE PARKING THAT RESIDENTS IN FALLOW COURT AVENUE & MONTROSE CRESCENT & OTHER STREETS NEAR THE SITE FACE 7 DAYS A WEEK IS DIRECTLY GENERATED BY FRS & FRS KINDERGARTEN. The Rabbi says “We’ve been operating with this number of children for many years but the only complaints have been since we began talking about our rebuilding project. I feel this is simply a tool against our rebuilding.” OBJECTIONS WERE MADE TO BARNET COUNCIL THROUGHOUT THE 1990s. COMPLAINTS HAVE BEEN MADE DIRECTLY TO FRS FOR AT LEAST 20 YEARS ABOUT PARKING, TRAFFIC, NOISE, ETC. It has been reported that FRS called a halt to its plans in order to reconsider neighbours’ opinions on the expansion. THE PLANNING APPLICATION FOR THE REBUILDING HAD TO BE WITH WITHDRAWN - AS DETAILED IN AN EARLIER COMMENT. Another FCA Resident
  • Score: 0

11:32am Wed 8 Jan 14

harvey_uk says...

Beis Hamedrash Elyon school springs to mind. With a council who approved pylons (eruvs) on green belt land without residents consultation, I'm sure a small planning obstacle like this won't be holding the school back for long with the influence this council is under.
Beis Hamedrash Elyon school springs to mind. With a council who approved pylons (eruvs) on green belt land without residents consultation, I'm sure a small planning obstacle like this won't be holding the school back for long with the influence this council is under. harvey_uk
  • Score: -3

5:42pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Mr. Datchery says...

harvey_uk wrote:
Beis Hamedrash Elyon school springs to mind. With a council who approved pylons (eruvs) on green belt land without residents consultation, I'm sure a small planning obstacle like this won't be holding the school back for long with the influence this council is under.
As soon as I saw this headline I knew without checking harvey_uk would be spewing his usual anti-Semitic bile and I was not mistaken. Anti-Semitic? yes this from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights definition of the term,
"Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions." I am not Jewish.
As an aside his use of the term "pylons" is typical, they are smaller than lamp posts and if he's so keen on the Green Belt has he supported those who oppose the Bury Farm Golf Course
[quote][p][bold]harvey_uk[/bold] wrote: Beis Hamedrash Elyon school springs to mind. With a council who approved pylons (eruvs) on green belt land without residents consultation, I'm sure a small planning obstacle like this won't be holding the school back for long with the influence this council is under.[/p][/quote]As soon as I saw this headline I knew without checking harvey_uk would be spewing his usual anti-Semitic bile and I was not mistaken. Anti-Semitic? yes this from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights definition of the term, "Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions." I am not Jewish. As an aside his use of the term "pylons" is typical, they are smaller than lamp posts and if he's so keen on the Green Belt has he supported those who oppose the Bury Farm Golf Course Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 2

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