Officers and councillors were joined by Hertsmere’s MP Oliver Dowden at a specially-convened Bushey Forum meeting on February 22 to provide an update and to answer questions about the closure of Bushey Country Club, which is owned by Hertsmere Borough Council.
The closure was announced after Hertsmere Leisure, which manages the council’s leisure contract, gave notice to end its arrangement to operate the club from the start of April as a result of significant financial losses.
At last night’s Bushey Forum meeting, staged at Bushey Academy, Chief Executive of Hertsmere Borough Council, Donald Graham, provided an update on the current position and the interim measures that are being put in place by the council. These include security and site protection measures to prevent unauthorised access, along with the possibility of using a ‘property guardian’ company to secure and maintain the vacant buildings. Property guardians provide occupation of empty properties through the placement of fully vetted temporary residents, who are working professionals.
To ensure the golf course’s open space remains presentable and in good order, there will also be on-going maintenance of the grounds.
Subject to approval by the council’s Executive in March, Donald Graham also explained that the council would be looking to keep the community centre open until the longer-term future of the site has been agreed. To ensure the on-going use of the car park, the council is looking into introducing a parking enforcement regime which, again, will be subject to approval by the council’s Executive next month. It’s proposed that any charges would be in line with the costs at the other council car parks in Bushey but would allow users of the community centre free parking for two hours.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Morris Bright MBE, who also attended and spoke at the meeting, said: “This was a very well-attended meeting arranged by Bushey Forum and a useful opportunity to provide an update and answer questions about a site that local people feel very passionately about.
“The council has been working hard to put in place interim measures to ensure the safety and security of vacant buildings and the upkeep of the open spaces. We’re also working to keep the community centre open in the short term until firmer decisions have been taken about the future of the site and car park arrangements.
“In terms of the longer-term future of the site, we’ll be consulting with residents and stakeholders in the coming months and will also do all we can to keep everyone updated and involved.”
Updates will be placed on the Bushey Country Club page of the council’s website www.hertsmere.gov.uk/busheycountryclub. To subscribe for e-alerts, visit the council’s website www.hertsmere.gov.uk and click on the purple ‘News for You’ button and select the Bushey Country Club option when you subscribe.
To put forward ideas about the future use of the site in the longer term, please contact Councillor Paul Morris OBE, elected member for Bushey Heath ward – firstname.lastname@example.org
Those wishing to express interest in acquiring or developing the site should contact email@example.com. The Asset Management team is maintaining a database with expressions of interest until firmer decisions are made about the site’s future.
For more information about the Bushey Forum visit www.thebusheyforum.org.uk
Photo Courtesy of Neetha Atukorale