A commodore fears for the future of his sailing club following proposals for a new nature retreat at a reservoir.

Liberty Lake Leisure Ltd is expected to submit plans for 40 wooden accommodation pods on green belt land along the eastern bank of Aldenham Reservoir at Aldenham Country Park.

But the plans will see Aldenham Sailing Club lose its clubhouse, land for storing boats, and land to launch boats into the water.

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One of the three jetties

Commodore Bryan Forbes said: "We cannot see a future for this club if these plans go ahead. We would only be given a very narrow strip of shoreline to launch our boats. Our clubhouse is important for changing, showers, and meetings. We will lose too much space.

"Our whole operation would become financially unviable."

Liberty's plans are for 40 pods which visitors will be able to rent, all-year round, a new hub building which would include a cafe and toilets, an angling shop, a storage facility for boats and canoes, and a private management building.

The pods would be dotted along a stretch of the reservoir wiping out the land currently used by the sailing club. The club, which pays Liberty around £8,000 a year, would only have a compound, pictured in the map below, which it rents from Hertfordshire County Council to store its boats.

Click on the icons and zoom in and out to explore the area of the reservoir bank in question.

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Pictured is the 'lawn' used to launch boats into the water with the clubhouse in the background

"A sailing club needs to be by the water", Mr Forbes added.

A lookout building has been proposed by the water for the club.

The club, founded in 1938, has around 130 members currently. It uses the reservoir on Wednesdays and Sundays. Sundays are usually used for racing while schools often visit during the week.

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Liberty, which owns Aldenham Reservoir, says the Aldenham Nature Retreat development is necessary to help generate revenue to pay for the upkeep of the reservoir and dam.

The reservoir is identified as "high risk" and needs regular inspection - the most recent inspection taking place last month. Liberty's only income at the moment is from the sailing club and Aldenham Angling Club, which is set to benefit from the scheme.

Liberty says it wants to keep the sailing club on site - however if plans were approved, its lease would be terminated. The landowners acknowledge that operations would have to change.

The club would still be granted access to the water, which the club could have to pay for, but Liberty is also open to a partnership which could see them given free access if the club acts as minders for visitors on the water.

Liberty says it has offered the club a new lease at a higher rent but this was offer was refused. Aldenham Sailing Club were also offered £100,000 to build another facility but this was also refused.

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Mr Forbes has also raised concerns about the environmental impact of the scheme.

He said: "This could be horribly disruptive for wildlife. There are a lot of bats in the trees and we know they are a protected species. And the lorries that will be bring in the pods could affect the environment. And what about the greenbelt? It will lose its openness."

Liberty has carried out an ecology report which will be published when a planning application is submitted. The report takes into account bats. Smaller trees will be lost to accommodate some of the pods but Liberty says new trees will be planted. The developer also proposes planting around the reservoir to screen the pods and enhance the biodiversity of the reservoir.

A track will be created to bring in the pods which would become a permanent access route.

In 2016, Hertsmere Borough Council refused plans by Liberty to build 150 homes on green belt land off Watford Road, near the reservoir.

Initial plans for the latest scheme were for 50 pods but following two public exhibitions held in July, the number has been revised to 40.

Liberty is expected to submit a planning application soon.