Eruv plan ‘damaging interfaith relations’

Written by NeilT on . Posted in News and Updates

This item appears in the Jewish Telegraph August 12 2016

Eruv plan ‘damaging interfaith relations’

THE proposed Hale eruv will destroy strong interfaith links within the area, claims the son of the man who was renowned for building bridges between local Jewry and other communities. Mark Guterman, son of Henry Guterman, who received an MBE for his interfaith work, told the Jewish Telegraph of his “sadness” at the damage he believed is being caused to interfaith relations by the plans.
Behind the project are Rabbi Joel Portnoy and the South Manchester Eruv Committee.
An electronic petition was started by campaigners from South Trafford Against The Eruv, but was disabled by site administrators after “inappropriate content” was posted, despite reaching more than 400 signatures.
Mr Guterman, 55, said: “The arrogant ‘we don’t care as long as we get what we want’ attitude by unnamed funders of the project is ruining all the work my late father did for the community.
“These plans have caused hate-filled outbursts and are hijacking the proposals — which the eruv trust were warned about when they first announced plans in 2014 by myself and a colleague at meetings both publicly and privately.
“I’m not against the concept of an eruv, but I am against the trouble and divisiveness it is causing in this area.” The Hale-born property developer asked: “Why should we impose, and be seen to try and take over the area?”
The route of the proposed eruv, which will see the erection of 95 steel poles attached by a wire, encompasses roads in Altrincham, Timperley, Hale and Hale Barns, as well as sites on Green Belt land, the South Hale Conservation Area and the Hale Station Conservation Area.
Mr Guterman continued: “I grew up in Hale when there wasn’t a synagogue and there was a great community spirit between all types of people.
“It is wrong for these people who preach a message of religious peace to appear to not care about their neighbours.
“They are pulling apart all of the interfaith work that my father, who created countless interfaith groups, and many others, have done over many years to bring everyone together.
“It is fair to say that 90 per cent of the Jewish people that I have spoken to are against this, but they are afraid to lift their heads above the parapet.
“It was stated at the public meeting by the rabbi that it would only affect between 10-20 families, at best. I call upon the funders to show us who they are and listen to what is being said by the vocal majority.”
Mr Guterman continued: “I am convinced that this will pass the planning stages, initially or by appeal, but the damage it will do is being ignored by the funders who are ploughing on regardless.
“The petition which was taken down had been taken over by antisemites — which the eruv committee were warned about.
“Building a synagogue, mosque or church on your own land is fine — but when you encroach on your neighbours who don’t want it then problems will occur.”

S.T.A.T.E. South Trafford against the Eruv

Written by NeilT on . Posted in News and Updates

UPDATE 13th September 2016

"In the interests of communal unity, the trustees of the Hale Eruv Project have, after careful consideration, decided not to proceed with their current planning application."

The CURRENT planning application has now been withdrawn 


Do you need to contact us? CLICK HERE

As we prepare for a planning application for an Eruv this page will try and keep you up to date with news and information.
Have you subscribed to our mailing list?  If not do so at the top of this page. 

Please do become a member of this web site, and we have a Eruv thread going on the forum that you will find here, if you comment on the Eruv Thread you will automatically get notification as new messages are added, please CLICK THIS LINK 

A item has come up on the JC and you can read it BY CLICKING THIS LINK

You have until the 8th September to send in objections.


Write to Cormac McGowan
Senior Planner
Trafford Council
Planning and Development
Trafford Town Hall,
Talbot Road, Stretford M32 0TH,


We are aware that you are not now able to comment on the Trafford Planning Portal and here is a message from planning "Our IT section are looking to rectify the message details on the web-site – representations can still be sent to "
If you do email in, make sure that you quote PLANNING APPLICATION NUMBER 88955/FUL/16

Please also write to your local Councillor.

You need to provide reasonable reasons why this planning application must be refused.
 Some Examples.
The size and scale of the application (out of character with the local area)
Extra (Private, non-council or utility) street clutter
Effect on community cohesion
The poles and wires will alter the visible street scene.
The visual impact will be seen by multiple properties.
The close proximity to houses and other properties will have a visual impact.

Bats can not detect the wires and they are a protected species. 

Are you a StreetLife User? Please join in the conversation that you can find HERE

We are now also on FACEBOOK Please click and join us on Facebook. 

Trafford planning details -  Please follow THIS LINK 

As well as writing to the planning department with your objections, let your MP and the Hale Central and Hale Barns Ward Councillors know your feelings. Here are email details;
Please copy the email details.

Graham Brady MP ( Altrincham and Sale West)
Councillor Dylan Butt (Hale Barns) –
Councillor Denise Haddad (Hale Central) –
Councillor Alan Mitchell (Hale Central) –
Councillor Patrick Myers (Hale Barns)–
Councillor Bernard Sharp (Hale Barns)-
Councillor Patricia Young (Hale Central) –

MORE detailed files are now available on the planning portal, view then NOW CLICK HERE 

The BBC are now running the proposed Eruv as a story, if you would like to read CLICK HERE

Hale Eruv would risk “rancour and intolerance” if it goes ahead, says MP Brady to read about this FOLLOW THIS LINK - CLICK HERE

ERUV PLAN ‘DAMAGING INTERFAITH RELATIONS’ This is well worth a read Eruv plandamaging interfaith relations

BBC Northwest Tonight 19th August 2016

BBC Radio4 broadcast 21st August 2016 on the "Sunday" show. The proposed Hale Eruv was an item. To listen please CLICK ON THIS LINK

What Rabbi Portnoy said in 2014 and what he says now!

 planning noticeWR 28 7 16

STATE is formed in reaction to Hale Eruv

Written by NeilT on . Posted in News and Updates

The inaugural meeting of an action group which will oppose the proposed creation of a religious boundary in a large area of Hale and Hale Barns took place on Tuesday evening. The meeting was a low-key strategy meeting but it brought together representatives from the Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Humanist communities. 

The group is to be called “South Trafford against the Eruv” or STATE for short. 

The Eruv scheme is the reincarnation of a proposal by a small section of the Jewish Community led by Rabbi Portnoy, from Hale Synagogue. It is estimated that less than 12 families will benefit from this development. The majority of the Jewish community in the area are opposed to this proposal as they prefer to live peacefully in our diverse community. This proposal has the potential to seriously damage social cohesion, in times when religious privilege could lead to hatred and factionalism within the community. 

The proposed area has a boundary of about 13-miles and will be made up of tall posts and wires together with existing natural boundaries/perimiters. It includes Hale Village south of the railway, and most of Hale and Hale Barns and some of Altrincham. 

In November 2014 there was a public meeting called by Rabbi Portnoy, which was attended by more than 300 people. The majority present were opposed to the eruv. Yet despite promises to reconsider and keep residents informed, plans for the eruv are to be submitted imminently to Trafford Planning Committee, with no prior warning. Consultation has been very limited and appears to have been primarily with other faith leaders. 

There is significant opposition to this scheme from within the Hale Synagogue community and also neighbouring Bowdon Synagogue, who have officially distanced themselves from the project. 

If you want more information or can offer help and support to STATE there are details at 


Or Contact
Neil Taylor on 07825 077204

STATE - South Trafford against the Eruv

Written by NeilT on . Posted in News and Updates

19th July and a local strategy meeting was held on how to oppose the proposed Hale and district Eruv.

The group are now called STATE - South Trafford against the Eruv.

A press release will be issued shortly. 

Hale Eruv - Religious Boundary- July 2016

Written by Super User on . Posted in News and Updates

Here is a letter that is being distributed as of now (12 July 2016) I have a full .pdf if you would like a copy.


Hale Eruv Project Trust Information Letter July 2016

Dear Resident,   

As you may be aware, the Hale Eruv Project Trust has been considering a plan to create an eruv in the Hale area.  

We are writing to you today to tell you that we are now in a position to move forward with those plans and will be submitting an application for the Hale Eruv to Trafford Council imminently.   

Just to clarify, an eruv allows the orthodox Jewish community to observe the laws and customs of the Sabbath while carrying or pushing certain items outside of their home. This includes pushing children in push chairs, picking up or carrying essential items and the use of wheelchairs.  

An eruv is a religiously symbolic area defined by a continuous geographic route designated in accordance with ancient rabbinic principles and for the Jewish community, it is of great importance.  

The Hale Eruv will utilise existing local features including roads, fences and walls but where there is no obvious natural route, the eruv will be linked by a thin gauge wire similar to fishing line, supported by a series of pairs of slim poles.  

The planning application to create the Hale Eruv is for the erection of 95 galvanised steel poles at 50 individual sites along a 12-mile route in south Trafford. The majority of the poles will be approximately 6m in height and around 8cm in diameter, a similar height to a lamppost, but much slimmer. They will be linked in pairs by nylon wire.  

We have worked hard to ensure the poles and wire have the minimum impact on the local area and as part of the planning application we have completed a heritage study looking at the sites of all the poles, an ecology study, a study of the trees that could possibly be impacted by the eruv and also a comprehensive highways review. The eruv itself should be barely noticeable.   

Our application follows a two-year period of engagement with the local community including meetings with the Council, a pre-application report, letters to all homeowners whose homes are close to the eruv route, a public meeting attended by people from the local community, the setting up of a website where people have been able to comment on the proposals and a series of ecology, heritage, tree, traffic and environmental reports.   

There are currently ten eruv schemes in the UK and two of these are in Greater Manchester being based in Salford and Whitefield.   

The proposed route runs from the junction of Oakfield Road and Moss Lane in Altrincham; eastwards towards the junction of Canterbury Road and Clay Lane in Timperley; then southwards to Hale Street (Marriott Hotel) Hale Barns; then westwards to Bankhall Lane in Hale (near to Ashley Road junction); and northwards to Oakfield Road and Moss Lane.  

The Trust will submit the application to Trafford Council imminently and the council will then announce the timescales for the planning hearing. As part of this process people will be able to submit their views and we welcome your opinions. You can either talk to us at, email us at on or call the freephone helpline number 0800 130 3353 during normal office hours.  

You can also make comments, either in support or in opposition to the scheme to Trafford Council. You can email including the planning application number, your name and address and your comments and you can use the online forms at the Trafford Council website 

You can also write to the Chief Planning Officer who will take your views into account when deciding applications under delegated powers and when preparing reports for those applications decided by the Planning Development Control Committee. Send your correspondence to: 

Planning and Building Control PO Box 96 Waterside House Sale Waterside Tatton Road Sale M33 7ZF  

This is an important scheme for the Jewish community in Hale, an area that has for many years supported a diverse mix of people and religions and we very much hope you can support the Hale Eruv.    

The Trustees of the Hale Eruv Project Trust      

 Frequently Asked Questions  

What is an eruv?  

An eruv is a religiously symbolic area which allows members of the orthodox Jewish community to observe the laws and customs associated with the Sabbath, while carrying or pushing certain items outside of their homes. It is an area defined by a continuous geographic route designated in accordance with ancient rabbinic principles.  

Are there any other eruv schemes in the UK?  

There are ten eruv schemes in the UK and two of these are in Manchester -  Salford and Whitefield.   

Why does the Jewish community in Hale need an eruv?  

Greater Manchester has a proud and inclusive history and is home to the second largest Jewish community in the country. Every week the Jewish community observes the Sabbath, the holy day of rest. Shabbat begins at nightfall on Friday and lasts until nightfall on Saturday. Biblical Jewish Law prohibits carrying or transporting on the Sabbath day. That includes pushing children in pushchairs, picking up or carrying items and the use of wheelchairs. This kind of activity is only permitted within people’s private boundaries or a defined local area referred to as an eruv. By establishing an eruv in an area, it allows the Jewish community to observe Jewish Law and still be able to perform important actions outside of their homes.  

How is the Eruv formed? An eruv usually uses existing local features such as those formed alongside roads, railways, rivers, fences, walls or embankments. Where the continuity of this route is broken, then this is linked by the erection of a notional gateway which creates a continuous route around the area of the eruv. Pairs of poles mark the gateways which are linked by fine nylon wire. 

What construction is involved 

At these gaps in the natural eruv route the plan is to erect posts linked by a wire to create a continuous route. The posts are no more than 8cm in diameter and the wire is a similar thickness to fishing line. No signage is required and the eruv will be barely noticeable. 

How wide an area will the eruv cover? How many poles do you plan to use? How big are they?  

The Hale Eruv Project Trust is seeking planning permission for the erection of 95 galvanised steel poles, at 50 individual sites along a 12-mile route in south Trafford. The majority of the poles will be approximately 6m in height, a similar height to a lamppost with a diameter of around 8cm.    

Can you tell me more about the areas the scheme will cover?   

The proposed route map runs from the junction of Oakfield Road and Moss Lane in Altrincham; eastwards towards the junction of Canterbury Road and Clay Lane in Timperley; then southwards to Hale Street (Marriott Hotel), Hale Barns; then westwards to Bankhall Lane in Hale (near to Ashley Road junction); and northwards to Oakfield Road and Moss Lane.  

Who is the Hale Eruv Project Trust?   

The Hale Eruv Project Trust is a charitable trust set up to provide an eruv facility for the Jewish community in South Trafford. All of the costs and activities to deliver the eruv are funded from charitable funds generated within the Jewish community and no public funds are used to provide or maintain this facility.  

What changes have been made to the scheme as part engagement process?  

During the past 18 months we have held a number of further consultation meetings with key stakeholders. We have also appointed a number of specialist consultants, including an ecologist, heritage architect, highways consultant and a tree specialist. We have listened to their observations and made amendments to our proposals.   

We have worked hard to fully explain what an eruv is and why it is important to the Jewish community. As part of our review we have also reduced the planned number of sites to 50 (from 54) and the number of poles to 95 (from 130).  

Is this going to change the nature and makeup of Hale?  

No. We know from the experience of previous eruv projects that the scheme has no impact on the complexion of the community. We expect the nature of Hale to remain unchanged. The eruv has impact only on the Jewish community who wish to take advantage of it.   

Does this mean that the area within the eruv is the equivalent of consecrated ground?  

No, the eruv won’t change the religious status of the area in any way or impact on anyone other than the Jewish community who choose to take advantage of it.    

How can people leave their feedback and thoughts about your planning proposal?  

We have carried out detailed consultation since first making a pre-application enquiry to Trafford Council in October 2014. We intend to submit our planning application at the end of June. Trafford Council will then announce the timescales for the planning hearing. As part of this process people will be able to submit their views.   

How can people find out more about your scheme?   

We intend to submit our planning application proposals to Trafford Council next week. People can also visit   

What if people have further questions? How can they get in touch?   

A community helpline has now been established to answer any further questions. People will be able to phone a freephone helpline number during normal office hours, Monday to Friday

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