Councillors have described a decision to rule out building a stadium on a golf course as "great news" and "a victory for residents".

Talk of a ground for Watford FC along with leisure facilities at Bushey Hall Golf Club was seemingly put to bed by a council planning chief this week.

Head of planning at Hertsmere Borough Council, Ross Whear, said in a planning meeting on Thursday that golf club owners Veladail Leisure's proposals "are not being taken forward" in the council's local plan.

Mr Whear's comments have been greatly welcomed by residents in Bushey; many of whom were firmly against the idea of a football stadium being built in their area.

Bushey North Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Richards, who spoke in favour of keeping a tree preservation order in place at Bushey Hall Golf Club on Thursday, says this "agonising saga has now been brought to an end".

He said: "This is a victory for the people of Bushey. Our community has been saved from a disastrous scheme which we have fought against from the very start.

"I would like to thank planning officers for their hard work and good judgment in assessing this bid. But this outcome is due in great part to the spirit and determination of Bushey residents, who opposed the stadium with such tenacity and resolve.

"I must stress, though, that even if officers had allowed the bid to go forward to the draft plan, it would then have gone to a vote by elected councillors. And given the mandate we received at the recent local elections, all Lib Dem councillors had pledged to vote against it.

"Thankfully, it has been halted at an earlier stage, and this agonising saga can now be brought to an end."

The Bushey Conservatives have also welcomed the news and thanked the 6,000 plus residents who signed their petition last year calling for Watford FC to be "given the red card" to moving to Bushey.

Bushey St James councillor Harry Mortimer said: "This is a massive step towards stopping the development by Watford FC. Bushey Conservatives would like to thank the six thousand plus people who signed our petition, which helped our councillors voice the importance that this didn't progress any further.

"This is great news for us and the members of our community, and council officers need thanks for working through this so professionally."

Veladail's submission for Bushey Hall to be used as an employment site in the local plan included a 33,000-seater stadium, 6,000-seater indoor arena, hotel, conference facility, cinema, country park, and other amenities.

Watford FC were listed as the "proposed occupiers" of the stadium, although the club never publicly stated what its intentions are regarding a potential move away from Vicarage Road.

The Observer's latest understanding is staying at - and expanding - Vicarage Road has always been the club's "preferred option" but that the club had "weighed up" a potential move to Bushey Hall.