Complaining neighbours delay £2m Finchley Reform expansion

A late deluge of neighbours’ objections is delaying Finchley Reform Synagogue’s plans for a £2 million expansion to its Fallow Court Avenue site.

FRS applied to Barnet Council for consent to update and extend its facilities. The application was deferred by a planning committee last week after more than 100 objections were lodged.

Objectors included conservation group the Finchley Society. It opposes the design, which it terms “almost brutalistic. It needs a lighter touch and a sensitivity to the locality.” The society has “asked the council to require a redesign”.

Planning committee papers listed traffic problems, noise issues and building appearance among the 21 reasons for objections. There were also complaints that the premises would not be available to the wider community.

FRS rebuilding group chair Charles Kessler pointed out that two meetings had been held with neighbours. “We feel it is very important to take the whole community with us.

“It’s a shame the questions came on the day of the meeting. You have to work with the system and so we will go through their points. We think we will be able to come to an agreement.”

The 1,150-member shul proposes a two-storey extension to the purpose-built 1970s premises. It will house the kindergarten, cheder, meeting rooms and an additional small synagogue.

Last updated: 9:45am, November 26 2012