Plans for 46 homes on Patchetts Equestrian Centre approved

  • Patchetts Equestrian Centre will be demolished to make way for houses after councillors rubber stamped plans to build on the site.

    Hertsmere Borough Council’s planning committee approved the application for 46 new homes — 20 of which will be affordable housing — at its meeting on 26 May.

    As well as the new-builds, the application includes the conversion of Lim’s Barn, Little Patchetts and The Coach House into homes.

    The popular equestrian venue closed in August 2015 after 32 years due to financial reasons.

    A statement from the centre said it “had not been economically viable for some considerable time” and had been supported by the McTaggart family for several years “purely for the love of the sport”.

    The news was met with sadness from the equestrian world. Campaigners, including members of the Facebook group Save Patchetts Equestrian Centre, have been lobbying to save the venue.

    In total, the application received 82 objections, one “neutral” response and no letters of support in its public consultation.

    A prior application to build on Patchetts was withdrawn in December — the planning officers’ report states this was to allow for “further dialogue and negotiation” between the applicant and the council.

    However, plans to build on the former Bucks Meadow Riding School — which were also discussed at the meeting — were not approved.

    The application was for a mix of 34 houses and apartments to be built on the centre in Bucks Avenue, Watford.

    This received 108 objections from members of the public and eight letters in support.

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    The riding school shut in September after 23 years as its owners made the “difficult decision” to retire.

    An initial motion to approve the plans was quashed at the meeting.

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