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Barnet Council in court bid to close down Jewish school

PUBLISHED: 16:07 28 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:20 07 September 2010

A JEWISH school set up in a residential home in Golders Green without planning permission should be shut down, London s High Court was told. Barnet Council is seeking an injunction against Beis Hamadrash Elyon School for alleged breaches of planning contr

A JEWISH school set up in a residential home in Golders Green without planning permission should be shut down, London's High Court was told.

Barnet Council is seeking an injunction against Beis Hamadrash Elyon School for alleged breaches of planning control.

Lawyers for the council told the court that no planning permission has ever been granted to turn the house at 221 Golders Green Road into a school.

Barnet's barrister Saira Kabir Sheikh told Mr Justice Walker that local residents have complained about noise and other disturbances from the school, which caters six days a week for around 45 pupils, aged between 10 and 15.

In October 2003 retrospective planning permission was refused said Ms Sheikh, but those who run the school have continued, "in flagrant breach of planning control", to "exacerbate the harm caused by the development".

A number of appeals have followed and despite a 2005 enforcement notice the school is still open and enrolling pupils.

Ms Sheikh told the judge it was now "plain" than no compliance with the enforcement notice will be forthcoming and it was "just and proportionate" to grant an injunction which will lead to the school's closure.

But Alun Alesbury, for the school, argued that no injunction should be granted as another appeal to a government planning inspector will be heard in September.

He said attempts to portray the continued use of the property as a school as "some sort of flagrant attempt to ignore planning law" was neither "just nor reasonable".

Mr Alesbury said: "There are no alternative school places available for these strictly orthodox Jewish boys to be moved to and the council's attempts to paint a different picture are a complete travesty."

Mr Justice Walker reserved his decision and did not indicate when he would give it.

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