“We’re not going anywhere” was the message from a football club manager as plans to turn their current home into housing were revealed.

Oxhey Jets founder John Elliott said his phone has been in “meltdown” ever since a Liberal Democrat leaflet claimed the club “could be under threat” after Hertfordshire County Council suggested the land at Altham Way could be redeveloped.  

The Jets have been on the site since 1972 and hold the lease until 2025, meaning no development could occur for at least eight years.

However the entire leisure area on the site of the former Sir James Altham School has been earmarked for residential development in the next 10 to 15 years as part of the council’s “call for sites document”, “subject to the relocation of the Oxhey Jets football club to an alternative site”.

Watford Observer:

Mr Elliott moved to reassure the countless families connected to the club, stating: “The club is so important to South Oxhey. What they are saying about us is nothing for me to get concerned about.

“I’ve had long conversations with the county council and officers at Three Rivers District Council, and there has been nothing interacted to me to be of any concern in the near future.

“We’ve always had a very close working relationship with Three Rivers and so far they have given me no cause for concern.”

Mr Elliott did say he would be willing to move the current clubhouse to the other side of the existing pitch so that space for housing could be freed up, provided that a new facility was included as part of the deal.

Cllr Sara Bedford, the Liberal Democrat leader of Three Rivers District Council, said: “Oxhey Jets is a vital part of the South Oxhey community and would leave a huge gap if it were to close.

“I don’t know of any other land owned by the county council in the area, so I think they should come clean about where they would relocate the club to and how this could be financed.” 

However Brendan O’Brien, Labour candidate at the upcoming Oxhey Hall and Hayling by-election, accused the Liberal Democrats of twisting the issue to their advantage.

"Oxhey Jets are here to stay. This is yet another leaflet own-goal from the Liberal Democrats,” he said.

“During this election campaign they have been caught out not telling the truth and scaremongering. They really are rattled.”

In a statement, Hertfordshire County Council said: “It is Three Rivers District Council’s responsibility to produce a plan for their area, as the local planning authority.

"We are routinely asked as landowners if we have any land that could meet the local planning authority’s needs. We then provide a list of assets that are not currently in use for county services.

"The local planning authority will then consider if these sites are needed for their plan and future growth needs.“

Three Rivers District Council was unable to comment.