In less than a week, more than 3,500 people have signed a petition against the idea of Watford football club building a new stadium on a golf course.

A petition titled 'Say No to Watford FC building its new stadium on green belt land in Bushey' has gathered plenty of support in a matter of days.

The campaign has been set up by Conservative councillors in Bushey after their enquiries led them to believe pre-application discussions between Watford FC and Hertsmere Borough Council were "imminent".

The Observer reported this week that pre-application advice for a potential stadium at Bushey Hall Golf Club between the two parties is already underway - although club sources have told the paper it is in the "earliest discussions possible" with the council, and the club is looking at other sites too, if it were to leave Vicarage Road.

But the idea of a football stadium, with a capacity of around 30,000, on the edge of Bushey has caused a frenzy within the Bushey community - and more than 3,600 have signed the Conservatives' petition to 'giving Watford the red card' to a new stadium.

Watford Observer:

This stadium design has been drawn up by the club. Credit: Watford FC

Explaining why the petition had been launched, Bushey St James councillor Harry Mortimer said: "Myself, county councillor Jane West, and my colleague Peter Rutledge became aware that Bushey Hall Golf Club is being considered as a possible site for the relocation of Watford football club's stadium.

"We know that many of Bushey's residents would not welcome this move and although no formal planning application has been made yet, we want to be prepared and ensure that residents' views are heard loud and clear.

"The golf club, which is a green belt site, is a completely inappropriate location for the stadium."

Watford Observer:

A screenshot of the petition which can be found here

Cllr Mortimer added: "It would bring construction traffic and noise pollution for residents during the lengthy building phase, followed by light and sound pollution, traffic and parking misery when thousands of football fans descend on the site.

"It is also very likely that the stadium would be used for other events so the problems would not only arise during the football season.

"In just a few days the online petition has already attracted thousands of signatures from concerned residents, which shows the stadium would not be welcomed in Bushey.

"Comments left by residents resonate and speak for themselves."

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:

Views of Bushey Hall Golf Club which is currently vacant 
The Observer understands Watford FC is in the "earliest conversations possible" with the council and that the club is "scoping out the opportunity" at Bushey Hall.

However, the Observer also understands that this privately owned site in Bushey "works" for the club - and that upgrading or expanding the current ground in Watford is a "challenge".

Sources said if plans were to progress, the stadium would sit within what is being described as a "country park".

The stadium could come with more facilities like a hotel and a community arena.

The club is also believed to be working with industry experts to see how it would be able to bring huge crowds in and out of this corner of Bushey minimising disruption to the existing community.

Potentially this could include improvements to public transport or a park and ride.

Watford fans, we want to hear your thoughts on the idea of leaving Vicarage Road. Email