Calls have been made to protect a country club's site from development after its closure was announced.

Hertsmere Borough Council revealed on Friday that Bushey Country Club, which is home to a golf club and community centre, will shut on April 1.

Hertsmere Leisure Trust (HLT), which manages the council's leisure contract, says that years of financial losses at the High Street club has left operations "untenable".

Last year, according to the council, the club lost nearly £700,000; equivalent to around 10 per cent of Hertsmere's council tax requirement.

It left residents in Bushey pondering what the future of the land may be, with many suggesting that it could be earmarked for housing.

Many acknowledged that the club had "been in decline", but the venue was a popular setting for parties, weddings, and community activities.

Linda Rauch, 55, believes the land must be protected "at all costs".

Ms Rauch, who has lived in the town for 12 years, said: "The closure is very disappointing. Our green spaces are very precious. I understand the financial losses but it's important to remember how valuable the club is to the wellbeing of Bushey.

"There is already too much traffic in Bushey and schools are struggling with resources. We don't want a development if that's what it'll be. 

"We have to work towards doing something to make the land a protective space. We've lost a community space so let's not lose green space as well."

Ms Rauch is chairman of the Bushey Forum, a commitee group set up to discuss issues within Bushey.

The forum will be holding an AGM meeting at the end of the month at The Bushey Centre, High Street at 7.30pm on Janaury 30, where the future of the country club site will be discussed.

Many people, including members, shared their regret at the closure.

Maureen Crowe has been a member of the golf club for 20 years.

She said: "I'm devastated to hear of its closure. As my friends and I are all in our eighties, it will be very difficult to find a replacement club. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bushey and regret the decision that has been made."

Annette Reeve said: "Such a shame. I’ve been a member since day one. It is looking a bit shabby I suppose but staff always really nice and members too. Will have to find somewhere else now."

David Shorto added: "This is a valuable asset to our community. It needs to remain open."

Robert White says the club played a huge role in his early years.

"I have many happy memories of good times at Bushey Country Club," he said.

"I was a junior member of the golf club from 1980 to 1992. But I was allowed to play in the premier golf competition – the Men’s Scratch Cup.

"I was a very keen golfer and would practice all the time at the club and during the school holidays virtually lived up there – I knew the original golf professional – Graeme Atkinson, and Bill Geddes, the green keeper.

"The club definitely had a major impact in shaping my life. I made friends who I still keep in contact with some 37 years later."

At this stage, it is unknown what will happen when the country club closes.

Morris Bright, leader at Hertsmere Borough Council, said last week: "No decisions have been taken about the future of the site and we will look to consult with stakeholders and residents in due course about any proposals".