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Jewish wedding party noise fears

PUBLISHED: 14:44 17 October 2013 | UPDATED: 15:42 17 October 2013

The school where an application has gone in to hold wedding parties

The school where an application has gone in to hold wedding parties

Archant

Residents living near a school in Woodberry Down are worried about Jewish wedding parties which could be held there up to five nights a week, ending as late as 2.30am.

A planning application has been made to excavate and soundproof the basement in the Beis Chinuch Lebonos Orthodox Girls’ School in Woodberry Down, to create the hall for assemblies and public events.

If it gets approval the plan is to hold events there until midnight every night apart from Friday and Saturday, comprised of two parties for 50 guests, two for 100 and one for 250.

Exemption

Special exemption would be given to wedding parties to continue without amplified music until 2.30am for up to 40 guests.

Sally Njie, 39, who lives opposite in Goodchild Road said: “I like to go to bed early. I start work at 6am so I get up at 4am. I don’t want that disturbing me.

“I think they need to think of everyone else around them. It’s unsociable hours.”

Her neighbour Fara Bibi, 36, added: “If my kids can’t have a good night’s sleep they don’t want to get out of bed the next day.

“It’s all residents around here and weekdays everyone is at work and going to school the next day, so it’s not good.”

A spokesman from Stern Thom Fehler Architects said the school had been conscious from the start of the potential disturbance to residents and had engaged noise and transport specialists.

The main problem identified was people leaving once the party ends, but they planned to encourage people to walk or take public transport or taxis instead of cars.

The spokesman continued: “Jewish weddings usually end well before midnight, since the large majority of guests have responsibilities on the following day. The reason that the planning application requests an extension of the use from midnight to 2.30am is to afford members of the close family, some of whom may have travelled from abroad, an opportunity to relax and chat in a quiet and close private gathering.

“This usually allows them the opportunity to engage in intimate family celebrations and religious customs.

“It is only during this ­informal and relaxed two-and-a-half hours, in the presence of a handful of family and guests, that the groom will dance with the bride, the bride’s father with his daughter, and the groom’s father with his son.”

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