Apartments bid for place of worship

The Hebrew Congregational Synagogue
The Hebrew Congregational Synagogue

A town centre landmark could be demolished and 20 apartments built in its place if plans submitted to Fylde Council are approved.

Officials of the town’s St Annes Hebrew Congregation want to replace the Hebrew Congregational Synagogue in Orchard Road with a smaller worship space on the ground floor, with apartments on the upper floors of the proposed development.

They say their decision is down to the fact that membership is already declining and that the synagogue, which dates back more than 50 years, is already much larger than the size of the community can justify.

Robert Pinkus, president of the Congregation, said: “The application is designed to secure the Congregation’s future. The Executive of St Annes Hebrew Congregation are conscious of the fact that the membership of the Congregation is elderly and declining in numbers and have been looking ahead to the time when the existing synagogue building may become uneconomical to maintain in relation to the size of membership.

“The synagogue is already much larger than the size of the community can justify and therefore a decision has been made to apply now for planning permission to redevelop the existing site to provide a new smaller synagogue at ground floor level, together with apartments.

“This course of action has the advantages that a new smaller synagogue would be more economical to maintain, and more in scale with the size of the community and also that accommodation, in the form of one or more of the upper floor flats, would be available for the use of visitors, a facility currently lacking.

“We look forward to the time when a smaller, more economical and manageable building can be made available to serve the congregation.”

The plans can be viewed via the Fylde Council website at www.fylde.gov.uk and next Thursday, March 24, is the closing date for observations.

The application will be discussed by Fylde’s planning committee at a future date.