Hasmonean High School’s redevelopment plan may yet go ahead, despite being blocked last week by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, because of concerns over its use of green-belt land.
Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretaries, whose department covers planning issues, has stepped in to ask the Mayor’s office to reconsider.
A meeting has now been arranged between the Mayor’s planning officers and representatives of the state-aided Orthodox school for early next month.
Under the plan, which was approved by Barnet Council earlier this year, the girls division at Mill Hill would be modernised and the boys section in Hendon relocated next to it. It would enable the school to expand from 1,100 to 1,400 pupils.
A school spokesman hoped “the forthcoming discussions with the Mayor help to resolve the situation, so we can go ahead with our plans to provide the much needed additional space”.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said it understood next month’s meeting would discuss “potential amendments” to the proposals. “It is right that the parties have an opportunity to seek to resolve their differences on the application, “ he said, “and we will keep the situation under close review.”
According to Richard Cornelius, leader of Barnet Council, combining and enlarging the Hasmonean boys’ and girls’ schools was seen by the council as a sensible way to tackle a “crying need” for more Jewish school places in the borough.
“More than a third of children on waiting lists for Jewish schools had to settle for a place at a non-Jewish school last year,” he said.