Special needs victory

By Dana Gloger, September 11, 2008

A Stamford Hill special needs school serving the Charedi community is celebrating the overturning of a council ruling that it should pay a £100,000 bond for its new site.

Currently operating from temporary premises, Side by Side was given planning permission to relocate to the site of the former Avigdor School, which was bought by the Agudas Israel Housing Association.

The integrated nursery and special needs school needs £10 million for the project. As this had not been raised by the time the AIHA began developing its part of the site into flats, Hackney's planning committee said the school should pay the bond as security.

Side by Side's refusal meant that the terms of the development - including the AIHA residential accommodation - had to be reconsidered by the council.

Now Hackney's planning committee has decided that the school does not have to pay the bond. Side by Side must deliver a plan to the council within the next year, telling it when building work is due to start on a permanent school, or on interim premises.

Last updated: 10:44am, September 11 2008