‘We hate the plans, not the neighbours’
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.”