Finchley Reform Synagogue gains consent for raising kindergarten intake from Barnet Council

This Is Local London: Finchley Reform Synagogue in Fallow Court Avenue. Finchley Reform Synagogue in Fallow Court Avenue.

A synagogue has received consent for raising the number of children attending its kindergarten - six years after raising its intake.

Finchley Reform Synagogue in Fallow Court Avenue increased its capacity from 42 children to 60 children in 2007, but although it sought approval from Ofsted, Barnet Council did not authorise the expansion.

As a result, a planning application was lodged in order to rectify the problem.

Speaking at tonight’s east area planning sub-committee, Charles Kessler, chairman of the synagogue’s development programme apologised for the oversight.

He said: “We apologise for not bringing this to your attention until 2010 when we first realised the problem.”

The council received 280 objections and a petition with 25 signatures against the plans, as well as 446 letters of support.

Neighbours spoke out at tonight’s meeting about the effect the increase in children has had on parking in Fallow Court Avenue and surrounding streets.

Michel Couque, who has lived in the same street as the synagogue for 17 years, said: “This is an issue about the high levels of parking and traffic generated by the unauthorised use that have made it impossible for residents to lead a normal life.”

Despite councillors stressing their concerns about parking in the area, it was noted that if the proposal was rejected, the synagogue could simply use the neighbouring building to the kindergarten in order to cater for the surplus of children.

The committee went on to approve the plans.

More to follow.

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