Consent for Orthodox Barnet school

By James Martin, July 2, 2009

An Orthodox Jewish primary school has received long-awaited planning permission from Barnet Council.

Beis Soroh Schneirer Girls’ Primary was granted planning consent after it demonstrated that there were no alternative sites available for the school and that it provided a good environment for the girls’ education.

The 230-pupil school, which is located in a former industrial warehouse in West Hendon, had been operating without planning permission since it moved from its previous premises at Finchley Synagogue in 2005.

It was initially refused consent on the grounds that the school’s presence would not be advantageous to the local environment and residential neighbourhood.

After a period of legal and administrative battles, the appeal inspector partially upheld its appeal, offering a two-year temporary planning consent, which expired at the end of 2008. an investigation of alternative sites was ordered and the school’s progress monitored. However, no preferable sites were found.

The planning committee’s decision was in line with the recommendation of planning officers. The committee’s councillors decided that, although it was not the ideal location, the educational needs of the students outweighed the concerns.

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “The decision to grant permanent consent demonstrates that the council considers that the applicant had shown that there were no alternative sites available for the school and that the proposals included adequate mitigation for the loss of the site for employment purposes.”

The school’s founding governor, Rabbi Akiva Adler, said: “We are delighted that we have at last demonstrated to the council how important Beis Soroh Schneirer is within the borough.”

Last updated: 2:13pm, July 2 2009