Houses could replace another Hertfordshire riding centre

  • Plans to build houses on the site of another equestrian centre in Hertfordshire have been submitted to the council.

    Bucks Meadow Riding School closed on 30 September after 23 years.

    Owners Tom Harkness and Madeleine White opened the business in 1992 and revealed earlier this year that they would be retiring.

    “It is a very difficult decision as we are not only facing retirement but the centre has not been financially viable for some considerable time,” they said.

    “We have been supporting the business but can not continue to do this.”

    The ponies from the riding school are being sold or retired.

    “This is a very sad time for all of us at Bucks Meadow and for you as our clients — we thank you for the loyalty you have shown to us,” they added.

    “We hope you have had many happy experiences and memories over the years that you have been here.”

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    The application to build more than 30 houses on the site in Oxhey Village, Watford, was put to Hertsmere Borough Council on 28 October.

    It involves demolishing the existing arenas, buildings and hardstanding, replacing them instead with 34 homes, a village green, wildflower meadow and play area.

    So far, the application has received 80 objections and seven letters of support.

    This is the third application to build on an equestrian centre in Hertfordshire that H&H has reported on in recent months.

    Patchetts Equestrian Centre, which is less than three miles away, shut in August and plans for a 46-house development in its place were put to councillors that month.

    A statement on Patchetts’ website said that the difficult decision to close had been made as the centre had not been economically viable for some time.

    An application to develop South Medburn Equestrian Centre in nearby Borehamwood — which is still open for business — was also submitted in July.

    All three potential developments are still awaiting a final decision by Hertsmere Borough Council.

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