A synagogue hoping to make a land-swap relocation deal with Harrow Council has been in debt for three decades.
The council's cabinet committee approved on Thursday June 19 a set of arrangements that would allow Belmont Synagogue, in Vernon Drive, Stanmore, to move to local authority-owned land approximately half a mile away.
Synagogue leaders said the relocation was primarily needed so the synagogue could remain close to the geographical concentration of its members, who have generally gravitated east towards Edgware.
Belmont Synagogue is run by a charity called United Synagogue, whose latest accounts, for 2006/07 , lodged with the Charity Commission show that the organisation maintains a perennial 30-year debt to the central office of the charity of £418,000.
A United Synagogue spokeswoman said: "The reason the shul is moving is due to changing demographics; the community no longer live near the shul building.
The move would be necessary whether this debt existed or not."
To afford the move Belmont Synagogue would sell the land occupied by its present building in Vernon Drive, together with a redundant block of garages in neighbouring Honister Place that Harrow will now sell to it.
The money raised by disposing of these two combined tracts of land to a housing developer would pay for the construction of a new synagogue in Wemborough Road on an area of land owned by Cannons Community Centre that serves as recreational ground.
To compensate for this loss of public space, part of the Vernon Drive site will be given back to the council for recreational use.
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