‘We hate the plans, not the neigh­bours’

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY DANA GLOGER

FAM­I­LIES IN a largely Ortho­dox neigh­bour­hood of North Lon­don have hit out at claims that their ob­jec­tions to a Jewish hous­ing de­vel­op­ment are an­tisemitic.

The Agu­das Is­rael Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (AIHA) is to build a £20m three- to four-storey com­plex off Lord­ship Road in Stoke New­ing­ton.

It will in­clude flats for sale and for rent and also house Side-by-Side spe­cial-needs school. Ita Sy­mons, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the AIHA, has ac­cused lo­cal res­i­dents of an­tisemitism, say­ing they are op­pos­ing the project be­cause they “don’t want too many peo­ple of the same re­li­gion in one place”.

“We lis­tened to their con­cerns but we couldn’t act on them be­cause they just don’t want the whole de­vel­op­ment to hap­pen,” Mrs Sy­mons said. “They just don’t want a bunch of Jews there.”

But res­i­dents have re­acted with out­rage at her com­ments.

Ar­bor Court res­i­dent Kris­ten Jones, 29, who chairs a group of 150 op­po­nents to the de­vel­op­ment, said: “It is com­pletely not the case that we are be­ing an­tisemitic. Our ob­jec­tion is to the scale of the de­vel­op­ment.”

She said she found the al­le­ga­tions up­set­ting. “We live be­tween two syn­a­gogues. If we were anti-Jewish, we wouldn’t live where we do.”

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