Developers have said a promised community centre will still be built somewhere else after it was dropped from plans.

Avenues, part of the 1,000-home Watford Riverwell development, was designed in 2019 and approved by Watford Borough Council a year later.

Permission was granted for 192 homes at the site, by Vicarage Road Stadium and the Watford General Hospital multi-storey car park, with a community centre included in the plan.

However, at the end of last week, an amendment was proposed to vary the plan description and axe the community centre, while adding three apartments and reworking the interior to meet new building regulations.

Watford Riverwell is being delivered by Kier Property in partnership with the council and the Watford Observer got in touch to find out what had happened to the planned community centre.

The approved block plan, including a community centre.The approved block plan, including a community centre. (Image: Watford Borough Council/Watford Health Campus Partnership.)

Kier Property senior development director Tim Shaw said: “As a joint venture, we remain committed to delivering a community centre and other facilities as set out in the masterplan, although the proposal is to relocate this from the apartment block at Avenues to a future phase of the Watford Riverwell project.

“Since May, we have been consulting residents on these changes and we would like to thank all those who have taken the time to submit feedback.

“We will keep the community updated as the project progresses.”

CGI showing part of the Avenues scheme once completed.CGI showing part of the Avenues scheme once completed. (Image: Kier Property)

The existing project description says: “Redevelopment of the site to provide 192 residential dwellings (Class C3), comprising of 62 flats and 130 houses, and a community centre (Class D1) alongside associated landscaping, amenity space, access and parking.”

If the council planning committee approves the changes, the new description will read: “Redevelopment of site to provide 195 residential dwellings (class C3) comprising of 65 flats and 130 houses, alongside associated landscaping, amenity space and access and parking.”

The wider Riverwell project is a £450 million regeneration scheme around Thomas Sawyer Way including around 1,000 homes, a senior living scheme, a hotel, a neighbourhood square, a multi-storey car park, public park, industrial trade city scheme, and a self-storage facility. 

Some phases have already completed including hundreds of homes, the trade city, and the hospital car park, while others are still being delivered.