School dis­mayed by plan­ning re­jec­tion

The Jewish Chronicle - - Judaism - BY JONATHAN KALMUS MANCH­ESTER

A PLAN­NING ap­pli­ca­tion to move a suc­cess­ful strictly Or­tho­dox Manch­ester pri­vate school from its di­lap­i­dated build­ing to a state-of-the-art com­plex has been re­fused.

Pupils at the Etz Chaim Boys’ Gram­mar have con­sis­tently at­tained the best over­all GCSE grades in the re­gion. How­ever an Of­sted re­port last year de­scribed its build­ing as “in a poor state of re­pair and in need of a very sub­stan­tial pro­gramme of re­fur­bish­ment”.

Gov­er­nors ap­plied in July to con­vert a Jewish-owned of­fice block in Prest­wich into a three-storey school to ac­com­mo­date its 94 stu­dents.

But Bury Coun­cil has re­jected the scheme on the ground of “un­ac­cept­able loss of ex­ist­ing em­ploy­ment land”, deem­ing it harm­ful to the lo­cal econ­omy.

The coun­cil also cited road safety prob­lems and three ob­jec­tions from lo­cal res­i­dents.

Bury’s de­ci­sion is a sec­ond set­back, a pre­vi­ous ap­pli­ca­tion to de­mol­ish and re­build the school on its ex­ist­ing site hav­ing been turned down by Manch­ester City Coun­cil be­cause the build­ing is of his­tor­i­cal in­ter­est.

The school’s gov­er­nors will be ap­peal­ing against the de­ci­sion, with a spokesman point­ing out: “We’ve tried to make the best of the cur­rent build­ing, de­spite the fact it’s fall­ing apart at the seams.”

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