May 21 2013 Latest news:
Emma Bartholomew, Senior Reporter
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Hackney Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a controversial application to build an Orthodox Jewish boys’ school in Stamford Hill has been taken to appeal.
In January Council planning officers recommended refusal of the Torah Veyirah of Satmar Boys’ School in Amhurst Park, because of its size and design.
Normally the application would never have reached the council’s planning committee, but 10 councillors signed a petition to ensure it did.
The existing unauthorised school on the site continues to operate without planning permission as it has since 2009, and council has been taking legal action against it since last November after it failed to comply with enforcement notices.
Surrounding residents complain of “unbearable noise,” with its staggered playtimes, and traffic chaos.
At the committee meeting in January, Graham Loveland, the council’s assistant director of planning and regulated services, said the application had been “a matter of great concern” and has used an “inordinate amount of resources.”
“It’s caused a lot of anguish to nearby residents and it’s a great shame that this school chose to occupy this site without the necessary planning permission in the way they did,” he said.
The applicant, the Gilmore Benevolent Fund did not attend the meeting because it had already lodged two appeals with the government’s planning inspectorate.
The appeals against the decision to close down the unauthorised school, and to not allow the new build were heard at a public inquiry in Mare Street last month.
“The inspectorate deals with applications on the planning merits and we feel it does have the merits,” said Eli Low from the Gilmoor Benevolent Fund.
But a spokeswoman for the council said they would always take action against “those that disregard the set planning protocols.”
“Unauthorised development can have a negative impact on a neighbourhood, therefore it is vital that planning permission is requested in order to comply with planning policies and standards,” she said.