Council to help 'overcrowded' Orthodox families

Haringey Council has approved guidelines for home extensions in an effort to address the problem of overcrowding in strictly Orthodox households in south Tottenham.

On average, there are six children per household in south Tottenham and many families live in cramped conditions. Last year, a businessman was ordered to pay £2,500 costs and given an 18-month conditional discharge after a six-year battle with the council over alterations to his home.

The new policy - subject to a six-week formal consultation process in May and June - allows houses to be extended up to three storeys, with a choice of three designs in line with the Victorian aesthetics of the area.

"These proposals are really innovative and go a long way to dealing with overcrowding," said Haringey Council leader Councillor Claire Kober. "This design guidance has been developed in co-operation with the community."

Another councillor, Joe Goldberg, said: "It's clear the community are really excited about these plans."

Ita Symons, chief executive of Agudas Israel Housing Association, which works with the strictly Orthodox population in north London, said Haringey's move was "a real victory for the community. It sets an excellent precedent."

She hoped Hackney Council would move similarly to ease the housing problems of local Jewish families.

    Last updated: 12:17pm, April 1 2010