Bid for ninth Hackney school in space of 100 yards riles neighbours

GV of Jewish school on Amhurst Park

GV of Jewish school on Amhurst Park - Credit: Archant

Neighbours have expressed concern over a planning application to turn a Stamford Hill house into an Orthodox Haredi school – which would be the ninth in a stretch of around 100 yards .

Yakov Stern wants to convert a Victorian semi-detached house in Amhurst Park, Stamford Hill, into an eight-classroom school for 100 girls and 15 staff.

There will also be provision for 18 bicycle spaces outside the proposed Vishnitz Girls’ School Ltd.

People living nearby fear another school would increase traffic and noise in an area that already has a high concentration of schools in the Amhurst Park, Bethune Road, Fairholt Road and Durley Road area.

Jane Holgate, chairman of campaign group Hackney Planning Watch, said: “We just think that the density is too great in such a small area. Of course children need to go to school, but it’s the density of them and the inappropriate use of residential property for schools that worries us.”

The proposed school would open from 8am to 6pm, six days a week, including Sundays. Most of the existing schools open six or seven days a week, operating staggered break times.

Traffic jams

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“The proposal would inevitably result in more noise at break times, as well as more traffic jams, parking chaos and traffic pollution due to the high numbers of mini-buses, mini-cabs and private cars taking children to and from these schools, and the additional four schools in Amhurst Park,” said Ms Holgate.

“Also, it appears a little strange that provision is being made for 18 cycle spaces for this proposed school for girls, as the girls attending are very unlikely to travel to the school on bicycles. Having lived in this area for more than 25 years I have never yet seen a girl from the Chasidic community on a bicycle – let alone commuting to school on one.

“It appears that this has been added in by the applicant/developer in order to add ‘green credentials’ to the proposal.”

A spokesman for John Stebbing Architects Ltd, which is making the application on behalf of Mr Stern, declined to comment.