Plans have been submitted to erect an eruv - a symbolic Jewish boundary - in parts of Stockport.

A planning application submitted to Stockport council requests permission to erect pairs of six metre high poles strung with transparent nylon wire at 35 points around Cheadle and Gatley.

An eruv is a is a boundary recognised in Jewish law that allows activities to be carried out, that would otherwise be restricted during the Sabbath.

Under Jewish law, carrying or pushing objects other than inside an enclosed area is not permitted from sunset on Friday until nightfall on Saturday.

This includes carrying keys or medicine, or pushing wheelchairs or prams.

An eruv creates a notional ‘enclosure’ as defined in Jewish law.

The application has been made by the Cheadle and Gatley Eruv Committee, which has been established by members of the Yeshurun Hebrew Congregation in Cheadle.

An illustration of how a street appears now, and with the addition of an eruv - the committee says there will be hardly any difference

The committee has already identified a 'natural' eruv, made up of existing walls and fences, but says there are gaps, such as across roads and footpaths, that require symbolic 'bridging.'

It would be at these points that poles would be erected.

If approved, the committee says the poles will be 'virtually imperceptible' once in place.

The application states: "Despite the proven minimal visual impact of the eruv poles and connecting wire, the route of the proposed eruv has been very carefully designed so as to minimise the extent of street furniture required and furthermore, the poles are have a galvanised finish to match and harmonise with existing street furniture.

"The height of poles is generally 6 metres, being the preferred height to achieve clearance even for exceptionally overheight vehicles; a lower height is adopted for public footpaths.

"The siting of poles, where required to be installed, has throughout been extremely carefully considered in each location so as to minimise visual impact on the streetscape as well as avoid any impact on existing trees in both the public and private domain.

"Pole locations have also been carefully considered to minimise impact on access, such as along footpaths, where additional structures could hinder the free movement of prams/ buggies, wheelchairs or other mobility devices.

"Existing eruvs have demonstrated that neither poles nor the filament poses any risk to birds, bats or other wildlife.

"Interestingly enough – it’s the location of the columns and wires that in a sense join the dots of what is an already existing Eruv boundary.

"The columns only constitute a tiny percentage of the actual eventual route of an Eruv – in this instance less than 5 per cent of the proposed route." 

An eruv covering parts of north Manchester and Salford has been in place for six years.

The committee notes in its application that the concept of an eruv can, 'understandably give rise to concern that it will lead to the concentration of a particular minority group and an imbalance in the existing social, ethnic and religious character of the area concerned'.

But it goes on to state that eruvs add to social cohesion and inclusivity, by enabling groups such as wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs, to participate in the community.  

The application reads: "The eruvs already in existence for some years in Manchester and in and around London have clearly demonstrated that they have no effect whatever in altering the composition of the local population or the pattern of local activities in any way.

"What the eruv does achieve is the ability of orthodox Jewish residents who are either themselves wheelchair bound and very young children, and the carers of both these groups, to participate fully in social, community, leisure and religious activities beyond the confines of their homes on Friday evenings and Saturday.

"For many wheelchair users, their weekly visit to the synagogue on Saturday may be their principal social activity of the week and is enabled by the provision of an eruv.

"It also allows the religious leaders more actively to encourage participation by persons who might otherwise be inhibited from attending". 

The planning application has been validated by Stockport Council this week and is yet to be decided.