Ceme­tery pro­pos­als re­jected

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY ROBYNROSEN

PLANS TO EX­PAND Edg­ware­bury ceme­tery have been re­jected af­ter en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists said that it in­fringed on the green belt.

Bel­size Square Syn­a­gogue, one of the four Jewish com­mu­ni­ties that use the site, have said they have less than a year’s worth of space left at the ceme­tery in Edg­ware and are deeply con­cerned about the de­ci­sion.

Coun­cil­lors at Bar­net voted against the ex­pan­sion this week, which sought to take over two fields neigh­bour­ing the cur­rent site, af­ter hear­ing repre- sen­ta­tions from the lo­cal branches of the Lon­don Wildlife Trust and the Royal So­ci­ety for the Pro­tec­tion of Birds.

En­vi­ron­men­tal­ists said they were “de­lighted” by the de­ci­sion af­ter telling the com­mit­tee that the plans were vis­ually detri­men­tal, did not pre­serve open­ness, and would ruin the homes of bats and rare fal­cons.

Keith Con­way, a board mem­ber at Bel­size Square, has been run­ning the ceme­tery project since 2002.

He said that the new fields would have pro­vided more than 6,000 new burial plots and would ex­tend the life of the ceme­tery for an­other 60 years.

He said: “We are very dis­ap­pointed about the de­ci­sion and con­cerned be­cause of the short­age of time.

We can­not find an­other site in Bar­net. We are now tak­ing ad­vice on what to do next. The op­tions are to sub­mit a re­newed ap­pli­ca­tion, which could be smaller, or ap­peal. But we are wor­ried that time is run­ning out.”

Rabbi Danny Rich, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Lib­eral move­ment, which also uses the site, said: “This de­ci­sion is re­gret­table. We had made ex­ten­sive ef­forts to meet the re­quire­ments, in­clud­ing tree pro­tec­tion and eco­log­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions.”

De­spite rec­om­men­da­tions t o ap­prove the plans by the plan­ning of­fi­cer, four coun­cil­lors voted against the ex­pan­sion.

Two coun­cil­lors ab­stained and only one, Edg­ware coun­cil­lor Dar­rel Yaw­itch, voted for the plans.

Clive Co­hen, vice-chair of the Lon­don Wildlife Trust Bar­net group, said: “We’re de­lighted it has been re­jected and that the na­ture con­ser­va­tion has been pro­tected.

“There are less sen­si­tive ar­eas out­side this area they could use and they could also make bet­ter use of the ex­ist­ing ceme­tery.”

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