Sunday, 26 February 2012
Schools without planning permission mainly in Stamford Hill
Hackney Council has provided details of seven schools in the borough which are operating without planning permission, the majority of them are in Stamford Hill and appear to be ultra orthodox Jewish or Charedi schools.
(I'm still working on the details here - also on how the data is appearing on the map above - a number of the properties are in similar areas (Amhurst Park) and are not registering separately on the map so details are also below. Also this article provides some background to an interview with Rabbi Abraham Pinter that I aim to post later this week.)
Hackney Council provided a list of schools and so did a group of residents. There appeared to be a few discrepancies and the council has provided details on the planning status of all of these properties mentioned.
(Hackney Council has 6 properties on its original list but 107 and 105 Cranwich Road are considered part of the school at 91 Amhurst Park.)
Council List of unauthorised schools in Hackney:
Beis Trana Girls School, 186 Upper Clapton Road, E5 9DH.
Council comment: Proposed change of use of the rear gardens of Nos 188,190,192 and 194 Upper Clapton Road from amenity space classes C1 (No.188) and C3 (Nos. 190,192,194) to playground and Quiet Garden Area for use in conjunction with the girls school at Nos. 186 and 188 Upper Clapton Road (Class D1 use).
Applications have been received in relation to regularising this use, but have been refused.
There is an ongoing planning prosecution in relation to the breach.
17c Filey Avenue, N16 6JL
Council comment: Planning Permission has never been requested or granted in relation school use at this site. There is an ongoing Planning Enforcement case in relation to this use.
83-95 Bethune Road
Council comment: Planning permission requested but refused 01/03/2010. There is an ongoing Planning Enforcement case in relation to this use.
75 Amhurst Park, N16 5DL
Council comment: Planning Permission has never been requested or granted in relation to the use of this property as a school. There is currently an ongoing planning enforcement case on the unauthorised change of use.
71 Amhurst Park, N16 5DL
Planning application submitted in 2008 and then withdrawn. Enforcement notice served on the unauthorised change of use, appeal submitted and appeal enquiry has been held. We are now awaiting the inspector’s decision.
91 Amhurst Park N16 5DR and 105 Cranwich Road N16 5JA
Planning permission sought for retention and redevelopment of the sites as a school, both refused. No appeal was made against the planning enforcement notice and no compliance has occurred. Prosecution is being pursued, but is currently subject to an application of abuse of process and judicial review.
Schools provided by residents - not on the council list:
Bnois Jerusalem at 77-81 Amhurst Park
Council comment: Planning Permission has never been requested or granted in relation to Bnois Jerusalem. It has not been reported in relation to any breaches in planning regulations prior to the installation of a portacabin to the rear of the property in March 2011. Indications taken from public records are the premises have been in use as a school since pre-1993, as there are no council tax records in relation to the properties.
122 Bethune Road
Planning permission granted in 1984
116 Bethune Road
Council comment: Planning permission granted 2004/1834
97-99 Bethune Road
Council comment: Planning Permission has never been requested or granted in relation to Talmud Torah Bais Aharon school. It has not been reported in relation to any breaches in planning regulations. Indications taken from public records are the premises may have been in use as a school since pre-1993, as there are no council tax records in relation to the properties.
107 Cranwich Road
Portacabins had been installed to facilitate school use of 105 Cranwich Road and 91 Amhurst Park. These have been removed in part and the garages continue to form part of the ongoing Planning Enforcement case at 105 Cranwich Road in relation to the unauthorised change of use.
84-86 Amhurst Park
Council comment: A planning enforcement investigation in 2009 confirmed that the premises had been in use as a school.
Are most of the schools on the list of unauthorised schools the offshoots of larger schools which do have planning permission?
Council comment: "No information available. This would need to be supplied by the schools themselves."
Can I get a schedule of all public inquiries that Hackney is involved in?
Council comment: "Public inquiries are a matter of public record. A schedule of current and forthcoming public inquires is available from the Planning Department.
Is it possible to find out when planning problems like this are being discussed in the council?
The existence of Planning Enforcement cases in relation to properties is a matter of public record and information can be supplied on request. A weekly list of all applications is available on the Hackney Website under planning applications. Due to the need to maintain the confidentiality of the complainant not all contents of a file will be available to the general public.
The issue of the cost to the council in dealing with these various problems would also be interesting to know.
Council comment: "Almost impossible to estimate the cost. The hours of officer, senior officer, elected official time, lawyers, barristers, court costs and general resources devoted to each case is impossible to accurately estimate."
What is the council's view of what is going on and its strategy for dealing with it?
Council comment: "The authority takes a robust approach to planning enforcement issues, using enforcement processes appropriate to the breach and any potential harm that can result from the breach. All unauthorised changes of use are subject to the same prioritisation and considerations."