A raft of security measures have been put in place to protect the former Bushey Country Club site, which is owned by Hertsmere Borough Council, until longer term decisions about its future are reached.
Hertsmere Leisure Trust, which manages the council’s leisure contract, ended its arrangement to operate Bushey Country Club from April 1 because the financial losses associated with the site were no longer sustainable.
The Country Club and the golf course are now closed, but the community centre at the site is open and is available for bookings.
Bollards are being installed to prevent unlawful incursions onto the site, a security guard is on site 24 hours per day, property guardians have occupied the club as an additional presence which reduces security costs for the council, and a grounds maintenance programme is under way to keep the site in presentable order.
It is anticipated that car park charging will be introduced during May, with the first two hours of parking free.
In the meantime, the council’s Asset Management team is commissioning ‘soft market testing’ to assess the possible redevelopment opportunities for the site. They are also exploring the potential for short term, ‘meanwhile’ use with those businesses and organisations that have expressed interest, as well as the wider market. Local residents and other interested parties will be consulted once viable longer term development options have been identified. A cross party working panel is also being established, comprising local councillors, council officers and stakeholders.
Deputy Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, Councillor John Graham, who is also Portfolio Holder for Finance, Property and Economic Development, commented: “Many local people care deeply about the future of the site, which is an important asset for the council. Whilst we work to draw up some viable and sustainable options for its longer term future, we’ve put in place a number of sensible measures to protect the site and keep the community centre operating.”
Photo credit: Neetha Atukorale