Supporters of the Mill Hill eruv are celebrating the clearing of the final planning hurdle after a four-year campaign.
Barnet Council has unanimously approved a second application for planning permission, clearing the way for construction of the eruv, permitting greater freedom of movement on religious days for Mill Hill Synagogue’s 1,000-family membership and others covered by the religious boundary.
The eruv will be the fifth in the area, which join up to cover the Stanmore, Edgware, Hendon, Golders Green and Hampstead Garden Suburb communities.
It is anticipated that the contracts for the work will go out to tender within the month and, if all goes well, the eruv will be operational by the end of the year. The route has been designed to maximise the use of natural boundaries and minimise “the aesthetic impact for Mill Hill residents and the green belt”. Only 34 poles and a few hundred metres of fencing will be required. Funding of £40,000, is already in place, as are the Mill Hill Eruv Trust’s plans to cover the annual cost of maintenance, expected to be a maximum £10,000.
Planning permission was originally granted in July 2010, with a number of relatively minor conditions including an obligation to conduct a wildlife survey at one point on the route. In the event, this proved “too costly and time-consuming to undertake”, said trust chair Gill Gallick. “We decided instead to look at other options. It was this and other new legal requirements that came along in the meantime that caused the lengthy hold-up.”