Councillors are set to consider plans to extend The Grove, as part of the hotel’s drive to enhance the hotel’s family-oriented facilities.

The exclusive hotel, in Chandlers Cross near Watford, already boasts 215 bedrooms, a hotel spa, an 18-hole golf course, a walled garden and an outdoor pool, set in 117 hectares of rolling countryside.

But now they have drawn up plans to please their youngest clientele  – with an extension that would include an indoor swimming pool, a children’s zone, and a cinema room.

The four-storey block would also include 76 bedrooms, increasing the number of bedrooms overall by 64,  as well as conference facilities that could be accessed through a separate entrance.

The plans will be considered by Three Rivers District Council's planning committee this evening (Thursday, August 15).

Planning officers recommend that the application is referred to the Secretary of State – and, should he have no objections, that planning permission is granted.

According to the planning officer’s report, bosses at The Grove say the family market has developed significantly in the past 15 years.

It says they now feel it needs to develop to meet current and future market expectations.

The report says, they believe the new indoor pool is “a fundamental element”, alongside the children’s zone, games room and cinema room – all located in a single area.

And they say the proposed new bedrooms have been designed specifically for the family market.

According to the plans the extension would be partly clad in ‘pre-patinated copper’, which is pre-weathered ad green in colour, and would include ‘living walls’.

In the report to the committee, planning officers conclude that the benefits of the development meet the ‘very special circumstances’ needed to develop in the green belt.

They point to the ‘limited’ visual impact the addition would have on the green belt, the high quality design and the biodiversity benefits of the ‘green’ walls.

They also point to the economic and social benefits of the proposal, in terms of job and income generation.

The report states: “Taking into account the environmental, economic and social benefits of the proposed development, the high quality design, and the limited actual impact on green belt openness caused by the proposed development, it is considered that taken together the proposal does benefit from very special circumstances which outweigh the harm caused to the green belt by inappropriateness.

“On this basis, the proposed development is recommended for approval.”

The meeting of the Three Rivers District Council planning committee is open to the public and will be held at Three Rivers House, Northway, Rickmansworth, on Thursday (August 15) at 7.30pm.