A SYNAGOGUE’S application to extend its opening hours from 6am until midnight has received objections from neighbours.

The Shaarei Mordechai synagogue, in Bury New Road, Prestwich, which can currently open from 7am to 11pm, claims there is ‘now a greater demand for earlier prayers’.

A similar application to Bury Council to extend the opening hours from 6am to midnight was refused in 2019 on grounds that it would have an unacceptable impact on neighbours.

A supporting statement from the synagogue, said: “The opening hours are no longer suitable in that there is now a greater demand for earlier prayers, particularly in the period prior to the Jewish New Year and up to Yom Kippur.

“This occurs at slightly different times each year but usually for a two week period in September or October.

“Prayer sessions are not accompanied by music and there is no singing apart from the sabbath.”

An acoustic report was also submitted with the application of daytime and night-time noise levels near the synagogue during its proposed extended operating hours.

Objections were received from some properties on neighbouring Queens Drive and Rochester Avenue.

Issues reported included ‘already considerable noise from car doors banging before 7am and well after midnight and parking is limited’ and ‘worshippers have conversations late at night and early morning outside the house disrupting our sleep’.

Other objections included ‘to have the synagogue operating longer hours will be a further disruption to our everyday lives’ and ‘consideration should be given to all residents in the area including those who are not members of the synagogue’.

One objection, stated: “I have been told, on more than one occasion, by several congregants that no matter what objections I might have ‘they have people on the council who will pass their request’.”

The planning report said 103 representations were received from the Prestwich area in support of the proposal, generally stating that the extended opening for the synagogue would benefit the congregation and wider Jewish community.

In a report to councillors, planning officers stated: “It is considered that the existing opening hours of the synagogue, from 7am to 11pm are appropriate to its site and surroundings and later opening throughout the year, would cause significant harm to the residential amenity of neighbours.

“In recognition of the issues here, a degree of mitigation could be achieved to restrict the extended opening periods to those related to the religious festival period between Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and Yom Kippur and the period of late sundown in June and early July only.

“All other times of the year, normal prayer and study times would be restricted to those previously approved.”

The application and potential conditions to limit extended opening will be deliberated on by the council’s planning committee on Tuesday, June 22.