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PRESENT DANGER: Security fence installed at synagogue

PRESENT DANGER: Security fence installed at synagogue

Security fence installed at synagogue because of ‘very real and present danger’ to religious buildings, Image: LDRS

A synagogue has installed perimeter fencing in response what it describes as a ‘significant rise in the security risk’ to religious buildings.

Holy Law Synagogue on Bury Old Road, Prestwich, has been granted planning permission for the already erected fence around its compound.

In a report to Bury Council in support of the application, Zalman Hanovitch of EA Town Planning Ltd, gave the reasons behind the need for more security.

He said: “Over recent years there has been a significant rise in the security risk faced by public religious institutions.

“There is a very real and present danger to this and other local institutions.

“Security and safety must be prioritised.

“Given its prominent position along Bury Old Road, the synagogue receives a high level of passers by and is a prominent publicly accessible religious site susceptible to anti-Semitism.”

Holy Law Synagogue was the first purpose built synagogue and is the largest in Prestwich.

The site is a large plot of land approximately 3,000sqm in size, stretching from Bury Old Road at the front to a private access road, Ravens Place, to the rear.

The site comprises a prominent main synagogue building, an ancillary hall and Beis Medrash building with separate access and a two storey building known as Howcaster Cottage occupied as offices and a two-storey home for caretakers.

Mr Hanovitch added that the fence was erected at relatively short notice because if it had not been built, finance would have been lost.

He said: “Due to the pandemic and the resultant lockdowns, which resulted in a reduction in public gatherings and communal activity, there was a financial surplus that became available to the local security services, CST to spend for security purposes.

“The funds had to be spent before the end of the year otherwise the money would have been repatriated.

“CST and the Holy Law management board saw this a one-off opportunity to increase the security and safety of this site.

“Four other community sites in the nearby Salford neighbourhood made similar applications for security fencing around their sites under the same principle of improving the safety of the site for the benefit of the community.”

The new 2.5m black welded mesh fencing has been positioned to the rear of the existing boundary fencing and was designed to avoid landscaped areas, trees and foliage.

Planners at Bury Council have approved the retrospective planning application.


Words: Chris Gee, Local Democracy Reporter

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