Westminster Council is set to consider proposals for an eruv, or Jewish religious boundary, covering north London areas including West Hampstead, Maida Vale, St Johns Wood, Regent’s Park and Little Venice.
The council’s planning committee meets on Tuesday to discuss the plans, but locals have voiced their objections, citing the lack of necessity, and the discomfort of religious boundaries in secular societies.
Eruvs allows religious Jews greater freedom on Shabbat, within which area they would then be allowed to perform certain tasks such as carrying shopping or pushing wheelchairs or babies in prams.
The North Westminster eruv would consist of 80 poles up to 18 metres high, typically connected by fish wire, and would overlap the boroughs of Brent and Camden.
If approved, the proposals – submitted by St John’s Wood Synagogue – would see the eruv link up with an existing boundary covering Cricklewood, Brondesbury, West Hampstead, Kilburn, Queen’s Park and Willesden. The shul says up to 8,700 people would benefit.
“It would stretch from Shirland Road in the west, adjoining the new Brondesbury and South Hampstead eruvs in the north, and it will also include Primrose Hill Park in the east, and run along Prince Albert Road in the south,” the shul said.
It also urged supporters to write in using their own words “in order to minimise the impression of an orchestrated campaign”.