Bushey Country Club closure
Fact sheet for Bushey Forum meeting
22 February 2018
Hertsmere Leisure Trust, which manages Hertsmere Borough Council’s leisure contract, has given notice to end its arrangement to operate Bushey Country Club from 1 April 2018.
In 2012 Hertsmere Leisure was awarded the contract to manage our leisure services across the borough. Before then, Bushey Country Club was managed by Bushey Golf Club Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the council. Bushey Country Club was operating at a significant financial loss before the leisure contract was awarded and has continued to do so since, whilst other leisure facilities in Hertsmere have performed much better. We did seek operators to take over the facility but there was a poor response because of a declining trend in golf users and the significant competition for fitness facilities.
The financial losses at Bushey Country Club have become unsustainable for Hertsmere Leisure, leading them to give the council notice to end its operating arrangement.
Understandably, there has been a lot of public interest and the council is working to decide what best to do with the site, both in the short and longer term. However, despite rumours, the council has not sold the site and there is no planning application submitted to build houses.
Hertsmere Leisure has been working with current users to find alternative provision and is bringing forward investment proposals at nearby Bushey Grove, such as extending gym facilities and creating some community space.
This fact sheet sets out the position with interim arrangements for the site from 1 April, explains how we will consult with local residents and stakeholders and outlines how decisions will be taken in the coming months about the longer term future.
Security and site protection measures are planned to prevent unauthorised access to the site. We are also considering using a ‘property guardian’ company to secure and maintain the vacant buildings. This arrangement would see the property being lived in by guardians, who are working professionals, meaning that it remains occupied, secure and managed.
Golf course and driving range:
The golf course and driving range will close from 1 April but arrangements are being put in place to ensure the on-going maintenance of the grounds so that the open space remains presentable and in good order. These will include grass cutting; hedge trimming and shrub maintenance; weed control and a weekly litter pick.
Subject to approval by the council’s Executive in March, we are looking to keep the community centre open until the longer term future of the site has been agreed. Full details of this arrangement are still being worked on.
To ensure the on-going use of the car park, we are looking at introducing a parking enforcement regime which, again, will be subject to approval by the council’s Executive next month. It is proposed that charges would be in line with the costs at the other council car parks in Bushey but allowing users of the community centre free parking for two hours.
Country Club – café, function facilities, gym etc:
The country club and facilities will close from 1 April. Options for fitness users are being offered by Bushey Grove Leisure Centre which is 1.5 miles away.
Consultation and decision making:
The council has committed to consulting with residents and local stakeholders in the coming months about the future use of the whole site and we will continue to engage with Bushey Forum and try to address your questions.
We will post any updates on our web page www.hertsmere.gov.uk/busheycountryclub and keep local media informed. We will also send out e-alerts – if you would like to subscribe, please visit the council’s website www.hertsmere.gov.uk and click on the purple ‘News for You’ icon.
Decisions will be taken forward by the council’s Executive in due course and reported at full council meetings. Both of these forums are public meetings and you can attend in person or view through our webcast system.