New planning documents have revealed more details on the proposals for a huge complex at the former Bushey Hall Golf Club (BHGC) site, including a new Watford FC 33,000 capacity stadium along with a 6,000 seater arena and other facilities.
The proposals were submitted on behalf of BHGC owners Veladail Leisure Ltd in response to Hertsmere Borough Council asking for submissions for commercial sites as part of the local plan process.
The document shows plans for a new stadium, arena, hotel and conference centre, cinema, restaurants, care home and outdoor recreation such as Go Ape type experience.
Veladail Leisure Ltd put forward the site at BHGC “as a new strategic employment site that can be developed over the next five years, delivering not only substantial economic benefits but community and sustainability benefits to Hertsmere Borough.
The plans to move Watford’s Stadium to Bushey have been met with opposition from the community. A petition called “Say no to Watford FC building its new stadium on green belt land in Bushey” has gathered over 6,000 signatures in 10 months.
One resident said: “I think that all of us want/need some green space, rather than ANY building projects going up”
Councillor Paul Morris OBE said: “The golf club has put forward their site to be considered for inclusion. This does not mean it will or will not be included in the local plan but will be considered as part of the process.
“In this respect as a result of the forthcoming elections, various political parties are taking a stance regarding its suitability. I need to make my position clear that even though The Liberal Democrats are suggesting and naming me as a supporter of the proposal, this was and never has been the case. The county councillors when elected will have little or no impact on the adoption of the local plan as this will be voted on at a meeting of the full council oh HBC.”
Liberal Democrat Bushey North councillor, Paul Richards said: “The proposed scheme would destroy a huge chunk of precious greenbelt, cause environmental damage and traffic chaos, and permanently alter the entire character of northern Bushey. It must be stopped, and we are doing everything in our power to stop it”.
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor told BusheyNews: “We are keen to keep Watford Stadium in Watford and we’re working really closely with the club on this. There are actually opportunities for the club to expand on Vicarage Road and we will do everything we can to achieve that.”
Another resident told BusheyNews: “I have no objection to the WFC club plans. Didn’t the people of Bushey want all these things for Bushey Country Club and now they are being suggested at another site, many of the same people are calling for a stop to the development! You can’t win.”
Cllr Paul Morris added that the adoption or rejection of the site will not be for at least another year and the final decision will be by “the Inspector” who is independent of the local planning authority or political influence.
Watford FC were contacted by MyLocalNews and chose to make no comment.