FRS Rebuilding Project

Building News - October 2018

We are delighted to announce that in October 2018 we submitted our planning application to Barnet Council for our new synagogue building, which will completely replace the existing buildings on our Fallow Court Avenue site.

We would like to thank the many members and neighbours who have taken part in our recent consultation events for your positive engagement with the plans. The application we have submitted has taken account of many of your comments and suggestions, together with those of our neighbours, and is a much better proposal as a result.

We have adjusted the design of the building to respond to comments we received, both in terms of outward appearance and the effect on our nearest neighbours.   In addition, we have:

  • modified the layout of the car parks.
  • repositioned the main entrance to a central location on Montrose Crescent (which allows us to retain the existing bench on Montrose Crescent).
  • Reorganised arrangements for waste storage.
  • Ensured that the plans are consistent with our ambitious sustainability targets.

We have also made changes in response to your comments in terms of the interior of the building including providing extra storage space, gender neutral lavatories and a different layout for the kindergarten.

Additionally, we have prepared a Management Plan for the new building and have submitted this to Barnet Council.  This sets out how the new building will be managed so as to minimise any impact on our neighbours.

Barnet Council will now carry out its own consultation on our plans and its Planning Committee will ultimately take a decision on whether to approve our application.

It’s vital that all members express their views on the proposal so that Barnet Council understand how important it is to our community to have a modern, energy-efficient and fit-for-purpose home: please do take a few minutes, before the 4th November, to visit the Barnet Council website and leave your comments.

You can leave your comments online at this address:

We have been a part of the local community here for over 50 years and we are excited that our new building will secure our future for many years to come. The new synagogue building will be a huge improvement on our current facilities, not only for our members but for the wider community.

If you have any further questions please call us on 020 8446 3244 or email us at 

Our Building Plans

About Us

FRS has been on this site since 1960 and the current main building was completed in 1974. Since then, the Synagogue has become an important part of the wider community, as well as supporting causes all over the world.

The Synagogue has approximately 2,000 members (almost 1,300 adults and 700 children), with the majority living in the local area. As with any community building, different sections of the community use the building at different times.

Why we need a new building

  • The main hall does not comfortably accommodate the current community on well-attended celebrations and festivals, and does not allow normal services to take the shape and layout which work for us. Moreover, the cramped and dilapidated nature of our current building impacts upon our ability to accommodate our range of other diverse functions.
  • The portacabins, that house part of our Outstanding rated Kindergarten, are at the end of their life and the staff car park currently doubles-up as the children’s playground.
  • The buildings are thermally inefficient, have high running costs and repair costs increase year on year as the fabric deteriorates.
  • We are past the point where we can maintain or refurbish our buildings. A modern, environmentally friendly, safe and sustainable building is now needed.
  • The use and intensity of the site will remain broadly the same. The Kindergarten’s approved capacity (60 children), for example, will not change. We simply want a building which meets our needs

Our new Synagogue

We need a new home that will accommodate our community and allow us to operate as we do now - but in modern, efficient and less cramped surroundings. RIBA Award winning, north London based practice dMFK Architects have designed an innovative stand-alone building that meets all our needs.

Key Features

  • A main hall which is more suited to our purposes than the current 1970s one.
  • A spacious foyer which internalises milling space which currently occurs outside the building, in the car park.
  • First floor offices and break out spaces.
  • A dedicated space for youth activities.
  • Kitchen, toilets and associated facilities.
  • Significantly improved landscaping around the building, making it a greener and more attractive environment.

The building will be set-back from the site boundary and we will retain and improve the existing landscaped boundary. Significant trees on the boundary will be retained, some removed and replaced, and other new trees planted.

The design, scale and height of the new building aligns with adjacent buildings. The building has been set-back from the 2 neighbouring residential properties to a greater distance than currently exists. It has been designed to be both contemporary and contextual.

Our aim is to replace an eyesore with an attractive, well-designed purpose built structure that will represent a significant improvement for everyone.

A new home for our Kindergarten

The proposals position the Kindergarten on the first floor, towards the centre of the plan, away from our neighbours. As now, it will have three classrooms, with dedicated toilets, kitchens and offices. The maximum capacity is unchanged, at 60 children.

The Kindergarten will have access to a rooftop playground located further from our neighbours, and bordered by extensive and deep planting and an acoustic screen to create a sound barrier. The playground will be part open and part covered.

These new facilities, together with our excellent teaching and pastoral care, will help secure the long-term future of the Kindergarten, which is open to children of all faiths.

How we will run the site

We will develop an Activities Management Plan and agree it with the council. This Activities Management Plan formed part of the planning application submission and will be enforceable by conditions attached to a planning permission for redevelopment of the site.

Broadly, we expect the level of activity and range of uses in the new building to be much the same as the current site. However, the design of the building is intended to ensure that any impact on our neighbours is minimised.

The proposals provide 11 car parking spaces. The car park areas will no longer double as children’s play areas. This means that, unlike today, all parking spaces will be available for use at all times and this will help free up spaces in the surrounding roads.

Additionally, we will continue to encourage our members and Kindergarten parents to think about different ways of travelling to the Fallow Court Avenue site, through the implementation of a Travel Plan to help the environment and relieve congestion. Bicycle parking will be located along the Granville Road side of the building.

During construction

During construction, we will need to find a convenient, local temporary home for both the synagogue and Kindergarten.

We would expect construction to take approximately 18 months, and we will agree a construction management plan with Barnet Council, setting out delivery routes, working hours and associated issues, before we start on site.

Throughout the construction programme, we will keep our neighbours informed on our progress.

Indicative timeline

  • Early Autumn 2018: Planning Application submitted to Barnet Council
  • Late Autumn 2018: Barnet Council Planning Committee will decide application
  • Late Summer 2019: Begin work on site
  • Late 2020/early 2021: Completion