A PRESTWICH house will become a new Jewish study centre — or ‘Kollel’ — after planning chiefs gave the go ahead for the property to be extended.

Bury Council’s planning control committee approved The Kollel Heichal Hatorah Institute’s plans to extend the two-storey building in Bury Old Road.

And it also granted permission for former residential property to be used as a facility for post-graduate rabbinical studies.

An application made last year was refused on the grounds that the size of the extension was out of scale with the surrounding area.

And other factors in the decision were that noise and disturbance and activities connected with its use would have a “seriously detrimental impact” on the adjoining property and those at the rear.

But the institute addressed the concerns and returned with an amended application which found favour with the planning committee.

Gary Kahn, a trustee of the centre, spoke in favour of the application. He told the committee the new plans had “support from quite a few local residents and local shop owners”.

Addressing the previous concerns around noise he said, the facility would be a “self study centre” where students would do “extensive research of biblical texts and study in a very quiet environment.”

And on concerns over traffic and parking he told the committee that most students lived nearby. He continued: “Students do not come into the centre by car. They mostly come from low-income families and as they are orthodox Jewish families, their wives use the cars to take the kids to school.”

The committee also heard that a minibus service provided transport for those living further afield.

Cllr Jackie Harris said she felt all previous issues had been “rectified” and was now satisfied with the proposals. Her fellow committee members agreed and voted to allow the application.