Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Bushey Jewish eruv approval: Residents 'very saddened but not surprised'
Residents are "very saddened but not surprised" after politicians approved the application to erect a Jewish aerial boundary around Bushey.
The proposals to erect steel poles, most of which are 5.5 metres high, in 25 locations across Bushey in order to create the continuous Jewish boundary, known as an eruv, was unanimously passed by Hertsmere Borough councillors last night.
Speaking on behalf of residents who oppose the boundary, Gay Butler, said: "I think that, for a lot of people who opposed the application, we very saddened but not surprised at the committee’s decision."
The 67-year-old, Chiltern Avenue resident, said she thinks the councillors" seemed to have their hands tied", although opponents will be looking into ways to challenge the decision.
The proposals have met with fierce opposition from some residents in Bushey, many of whom attended the public meeting in Falconer Hall last week.
At the public meeting which attracted hundreds to the Falconer Road hall last Tuesday, residents called upon Bushey United Synagogue representatives to defer the eruv application, in order to allow for greater consultation between the orthodox Jewish community and wider Bushey population.
Although the application was not withdrawn, the meeting did provide a forum for lots of people who were unclear about what the proposals might mean for the town’s identity.
However, there was an overwhelming feeling that these discussions were too little, too late, as the meeting fell just nine days before the application was due to be heard before Hertsmere Borough Council’s planning committee.
Ms Butler said: "What we were hoping for up to the last minute was that the synagogue would withdraw the application to give us some consultation time.
"Sadly they decided not to give us more time, which has had all sorts of implications and I’m very sad we didn’t have the opportunity to develop this in a more amicable way."
Residents packed the meeting room last night to hear the application.
Ms Butler said she has been "inundated" with resident’s emails asking what the next step is for those who still oppose the eruv.
She added: "Sadly, we’re now having to move onto the next stage and we’re looking into a variety of options which we’ll discuss more thoroughly next week.
"Right now, we haven’t really had time to consider absorbing this. One of the big issues from the beginning was the way it was getting pushed through without a proper consultation. They could have deferred the application and that would have made the difference to all of us."
Comments are closed on this article.