Friday, March 31, 2006

London Yeshiva having issues

Sounds like Chofetz Chaim in Monsey / Rampo! HH: A London Jewish school is fighting back against Barnet Council's attempts to close it down.Beis Medrash Elyon took over a residential building on Golders Green Road in 2004 and began operating as a school, despite not having planning permission.The council served it with an enforcement notice demanding it close down in April last year but the school for 40 boys is now challenging the decision via a public enquiry.A council spokesman said: "We rejected the application as losing homes goes against the Mayor's London plan and our own policies. We also don't believe that all alternatives were considered before the school was opened at that site. "Thirdly, residents have expressed concerns about extra noise and disturbance at the site."Residents are worried at the number of buildings being converted for non-residential use. Last week plans to turn the building next door to the school into a rabbinical college were approved by councillors, even though officers recommended the application be refused.They said it did not "justify the loss of a usable residential unit" but councillors agreed the college could operate until 7pm after being reassured by the rabbi in charge, David Herz, that little disturbance would be caused.He said: "We will not have more than 15 students and it will be for rabbinical training, students learning to serve the Jewish community."If you are looking for something which will leave people in peace, this is the first on your list."But neighbour Florence Suskin, who has lived on the road for 40 years and complained against both the school and the college, branded the decision "disgusting".She said: "There is screaming and shouting and we don't use the front of our house because of the high school."There are bikes on the pavement and 40 footballs mysteriously disappeared from our garden."Rabbi Lebovich, from the school, said: "Most of the boys live in walking distance from the school so there were more neighbours who like the school than those neighbours who objected."On the road there's now two synagogues, another school, a garage and a Kwik Fit. There are only a couple of houses now.....
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