A prospective buyer has submitted a planning application for one of Watford’s most historic buildings in anticipation of purchasing it.

Hertfordshire County Council put Little Cassiobury House up for sale for £750,000 last year and, although the sale has dragged on for months, the deal appears to be nearing completion.

Last week, Xen Maintenance Group asked Watford Borough Council for planning permission to carry out “like for like” repairs for the Grade II* listed building, in Hempstead Road.

It was unclear whether the company owned the building but the county council has today (January 25) confirmed that the sale is still not done.

A spokesperson said: “The application has been put in by the prospective buyers of Little Cassiobury so that, assuming the sale goes through as anticipated, they can start carrying out repair works on the building as quickly as possible.”

The council has been asked for confirmation as to whether Xen Maintenance LTD is the buyer or acting on the buyer’s behalf. The Watford Observer has also attempted to approach Xen Maintenance LTD.

Watford Observer: Little Cassiobury interior (during the time it was vacant).Little Cassiobury interior (during the time it was vacant). (Image: Little Cassiobury CIC)

According to Companies House, the nature of the business is that it constructs domestic buildings and engages in other building completion and finishing.

Its director is also director of Xen Developments LTD, which carries out development of building projects and buying and selling of own real estate, and Suru Holdings LTD, which buys and sells own real estate and engages in other letting and operating of own or leased real estate.

The lawful development certificate planning application is for “repairing windows like for like, replacing spalled bricks with new handmade bricks to match existing, re-pointing with lime mortar, repairs to existing timber cornice detail, renewing existing leadwork and roof repairs”.

Watford Observer: Little Cassiobury House.Little Cassiobury House. (Image: Little Cassiobury CIC)

It is currently “pending consideration”.

The 12-bedroom building is thought to be a dower house from the late 17th century, initially built for Elizabeth Percy, Countess of Essex.

Watford mayor Peter Taylor had previously described it as “an important part of local history” and highlighted that its Grade II* listed status “means that any future use will have to preserve the significance and historic value of the building and ensure that it is protected for future generations”.