Planning permission has been unanimously approved for a £500,000-plus extension and refurbishment of the Hadley Wood Jewish Community premises, ending a four-year battle.
In 2013, the community - which started life as a satellite of Cockfosters and North Southgate Synagogue - submitted a planning application to Enfield Council for a front and rear extension. This was withdrawn after the congregation was told it required a "certificate of lawful development" to officially register the property's change of use. To acquire a certificate, the community had to prove the building had been used primarily for religious gatherings for at least 10 years. But the council ruled that the community had not produced sufficient evidence to support its appplication.
John Melchior, chair of the community of more than 250 members, said the new plans would provide "much better facilities and will secure our future for a long time to come. I am very pleased that we have been able to work closely with the council, the United Synagogue and also our neighbours, with whom we have had several consultations. Our team have been persistent, diligent and worked around the clock to get us to this point. We are incredibly lucky to have so many great volunteers.”
The aim is to start building at the end of November. Construction work is expected to take up to 10 months and there will be a period when the congregation will move out to temporary locations.