New convert will turn hotel into synagogue

A hotel is to be turned into a synagogue to house a Golders Green Jewish community.

Plans approved by Barnet councillors will see the Central Hotel in Hoop Lane converted into a shul with two flats by members of the Sassov Synagogue, currently based in nearby Helenslea Road.

A Sassov spokesman explained: “We already own the hotel building but we don’t have a timeframe for the work to be done. Our community is growing and we need the extra space.” The purpose-built shul would replace the smaller building currently used for services.

More than a dozen residents opposed the application, with concerns over the impact of additional traffic, loss of the hotel, and the suggestion that the area has “too many religious buildings”.

Planning committee member Councillor Jack Cohen said: “I’m pleased we approved the application. I know that the community has been looking for a new site for a long time.

“Although there were some local objections, I believe the plans are well thought out and the synagogue will be a real plus for the community.”

Planning officers said the proposals would “provide a community facility within the heart of the community that it serves”.

    Last updated: 2:31pm, July 30 2009