Hertfordshire’s biggest ever secondary school could be built on the site of the former Bushey Country Club, it was revealed tonight.
Hertsmere Borough Council unveiled its preferred option for the green belt land in Bushey, which closed as a country club in 2018.
Residential development, new green spaces, and community facilities were also mentioned in what is the biggest indication yet of what could lie ahead for the site.
The council says the option has arisen following consultation with residents and key stakeholders, led by the Bushey Country Club Consultation Group.
Last week, the council said a virtual public meeting tonight would provide an update on the consultation group’s activities, and a presentation from housing consultancy firm Michael Dyson Associates this evening gave the update the community has been waiting for – although the council stresses these are proposals which need to be developed further and nothing has been finalised.
The flagship development lined up for the site is a secondary school, capable of accommodating 1,950 pupils, which would make it the biggest school in the county.
The school would be built in the south east corner of the site.
Two areas of residential development would be created as part of this proposal, although for now, the number of homes that could be built are unknown.
But these homes would help towards meeting Hertsmere’s growing housing targets, which head of planning Ross Whear said in the meeting was more than 14,000 homes over the next 15 years.
A diagram shows the larger housing scheme would be situated off Bushey High Street, roughly in the current car park area, and stretching further into the site.
A smaller housing area is also proposed off Merry Hill Road.
Mark Bradbeer, from Michael Dyson Associates, mentioned that community facilities are mooted, such as a museum or library, and retail, with the opportunity of a communal square.
This has been suggested to be built where the current country club buildings are.
One of the overriding concerns from the Bushey public has been the potential loss of green space, but the proposal unveiled tonight showed a vast majority of the site would remain green and open.
Mr Bradbeer also mentioned play areas and nature trails.
When council-owned Bushey Country Club closed in 2018 after years of “unsustainable financial losses”, hundreds turned out at public meetings to demand answers to the future of the site.
The land has since been leased out to a wedding and events firm; the lease has two years left to run, while a restaurant has also opened.
There is also a driving range on-site.
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