Will 46 homes be built on Patchetts site?

  • Planning applications to build houses on two former equestrian centres are set to be debated this week.

    A proposal to build 46 new homes on the site of Patchetts Equestrian Centre in Aldenham, and one for 34 homes on the former Bucks Meadow Riding School, Watford, will be put before Hertsmere Borough Council’s planning committee on Thursday (26 May).

    The Patchetts application, which also includes converting a barn into a three-bedroom home, has received 76 objections, compared to two letters of support. But planning officers have recommended it for approval, subject to conditions.

    A previous application to build on the centre was withdrawn in December 2015 before it was discussed by the council. The plans had been recommended for refusal.

    The officers’ report states that this previous application was withdrawn to allow for further “dialogue and negotiation” between the applicant and the council.

    “Following a series of meetings, the applicant submitted amendments in February 2016 in response to officers’ comments,” continues the report.

    The popular competition centre shut in August 2015 due to financial reasons.

    “It has been a very difficult decision to make after 32 years but the centre has not been economically viable for some considerable time and has been supported independently by the McTaggart family for several years as a non profitable venture purely for the love of the sport,” said a statement from the equestrian centre last June.

    “However the continued personal support in the present economic situation can no longer be sustained.”

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    Bucks Meadow closed in September after 23 years, when its owners made the “difficult decision” to retire.

    Officers have also recommended this application for approval, with conditions. The application has had 102 objections and eight letters of support from members of the public.

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