A proposal to build a football stadium and other facilities on a golf course appears to be dead in the water.

Hertsmere Borough Council's head of planning revealed at a planning meeting tonight that tentative plans to redevelop Bushey Hall Golf Club "are not being taken forward".

Golf course owners Veladail Leisure Ltd had put the greenbelt site forward as a potential employment site as part of the council's local plan.

The proposal included a masterplan made up of several facilities include a 33,000- seater stadium, a 6,000-seater indoor arena, hotel, conference facility, and cinema.

Watford FC were listed in planning documents by the owners as the proposed occupiers for the site but the club itself refused to comment publicly on the plans.

Previously, a club source had confirmed Watford were "scoping out the opportunity" of a move to Bushey.

Watford Observer: This CGI is believed to depict a Watford FC stadium on the Bushey Hall Golf Club siteThis CGI is believed to depict a Watford FC stadium on the Bushey Hall Golf Club site

But during a discussion this evening on whether to retain a tree preservation order at the golf course, the council's planning chief Ross Whear made a bombshell announcement that looks to have thrown Veladail's - and potentially Watford's - plans into the scrapheap.

Responding to comments made by Bushey councillor Jerry Evans about the potential future of the golf course, Mr Whear said: "It (Bushey Hall) was a submission as part of a call for sites for employment sites...and the submission made in respect of that site did not meet that threshold for employment and therefore it's not being taken forward for that purpose."

Essentially, Mr Whear confirmed that the proposal put forward for Bushey Hall Golf Club had not been deemed appropriate by council officers to take forward in the local plan - a planning document that will shape development in Hertsmere over the next 15 years. 

By not being a part of the local plan, any future development at Bushey Hall would be extremely difficult to get through due to its greenbelt status.

Posting on Facebook, Cllr Evans, who has been fighting the plans alongside his Liberal Democrat colleagues in Bushey, wrote: "Excellent news the call to remove Bushey Hall Golf Club from the greenbelt has been thrown out! This means no application for a stadium can go ahead.

"I’m sure the people of Bushey will be much relieved, this is excellent news."

More than 5,000 residents signed a petition set up by the Hertsmere Conservatives last year opposing a stadium at Bushey Hall Golf Club.

More to follow.