A revised planning application to build 46 houses on the site of Patchetts Equestrian Centre in Hertfordshire has been turned down by Hertsmere Borough Council.

The original plans were approved in June, but the committee said no to an amended scheme that involved reducing the number of affordable homes from 20 to just four.

The hugely popular competition centre made the decision to close its doors last year, citing financial shortfalls.

“The centre has not been economically viable for some considerable time and has been supported independently by the McTaggart family for several years now, as a loss making venture purely for the love of the sport. However the continued personal support in the present economic situation can no longer be sustained,” said a statement released at the time.

After 32 years in operation, the Aldenham centre — which hosted which hosted both British Dressage and British Showjumping competitions — ran its final event in August 2015.

The closure was a blow to riders in the south east.

The centre was later sold and bought by Bushey-based developers Heronslea.

Hertsmere council unanimously refused the most recent application, saying it no longer fitted with the government’s vacant building credit scheme, which tallies a development’s floorspace with the amount of affordable homes provided.

The proposals, submitted by Heronslea on 16 June, include the demolition of the equestrian facilities and removal of hard-standing.

The current plans are the third set to have been submitted by Heronslea, whose initial application was for 63 homes.


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The decision is highly unlikely to grant the site any reprieve.

Under the existing permission, Heronslea are still able to forge ahead with the project if they stick to the existing quota of affordable homes. Other options would be to submit another amended application or to appeal.

Local residents have consistently opposed the development, which would increase the size of the 100-home Patchetts Green village by 50%.