The structures on the corner of Synagogue Lane and James Street originally formed part of the Synagogue Complex, and were built at the same time, and by the same architect as the synagogue. The architects were Messrs. John Herbert, jr., and T. R. Wilkes. Note the original faux ashlar plaster work survives, and the rounded hurricane-proof corner. The original pedestrian entrance to the Synagogue was just around the corner, on synagogue lane.
The government had a plan to gut the buildings, only retaining the facade, and turn them into a pedestrian walkway by running a pavement up inside them - my view is that they would simply turn into a public urinal. The buildings were still serving their original purpose, and in 2005 they were still occupied by cobblers. They ought to be either restored, or returned to the Congregation or national Trust, as they form an integral part of the synagogue Complex.