The construction of Stockport eruv is one step closer as Stockport Planning & Highways Regulation Committee granted planning applications submitted by Cheadle and Gatley Eruv Committee in a remote meeting on 15th October.
The Cheadle and Gatley Eruv Committee, established by members of the Yeshurun Hebrew Congregation in Cheadle, requested permission to erect pairs of six metre high poles strung with transparent nylon wire in 35 locations across Cheadle and Gatley, said to be “virtually imperceptible” once in place. While a natural eruv exists in Cheadle and Gatley, made up of existing walls and fences, there are gaps across roads and footpaths which require symbolic bridging. Jewish community spokesman Neil Sugarman said elderly and disabled Jews can feel like “prisoners in their own homes” and that approving the plans would permit “social inclusion”.
Councillor Wendy Meikle she had not been aware of eruvs prior to the application, but was concerned it would be divisive, telling the committee: “I just see them as like a demarcation of a territory, and I’m really uncomfortable about it.” However Councillor Suzanne Wyatt fully supported the plans: “It’s about supporting a community,” she said. “This particular community, because of its religious strictures actually disadvantages some of its members. This is an attempt to give back to those members some of the advantages that the rest of us have, so they can walk around and carry things and push things on their Sabbath.”
The committee voted for the application by nine votes to two, with one abstention. Greater Manchester is already home to the UK’s largest eruv – The Manchester Community Eruv, with a perimeter of 13 miles covering Prestwich, Crumpsall and Higher Broughton.