Hatfield’s Tory clubhouse to close in flat development plan

Proposals have been made for eight flats at the Welwyn Hatfield Conservative Association building. P

Proposals have been made for eight flats at the Welwyn Hatfield Conservative Association building. Picture: Google Streetview - Credit: Google Streetview

The Conservative clubhouse in Hatfield has announced it will close its doors next year as plans are submitted to develop its building into flats.

Maynard House in Hatfield currently houses Welwyn Hatfield Conservative Association - the local party base - and Hatfield Conservative Club.

The club, which is used mainly as a bar and social space for members, has been given notice for its tenancy by the Welwyn Hatfield Conservative Association, and will close its doors on April 1 next year.

The 45-year-old building housing both organisations is in need of refurbishment, and a planning application submitted to Welwyn Hatfield Council on October 4 proposes to build eight two-bedroom flats, including one wheelchair-accessible flat.

Also proposed is an office and a committee room, but no clubhouse bar.

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One longtime member told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “We talk about loneliness especially with regard to the elderly.

“The club was a safe haven for the majority of its members ... they have no transport and live within a short distance of the club.

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“It is an environment where they can sit and talk, unfortunately no more. So come April there will be more loneliness.”

A spokesperson for the Conservative Association said that various schemes to save the clubhouse had been considered, but nothing had been viable. They added: “Maynard House ... has served both Welwyn Hatfield Conservatives and the local community well.

“It has also provided a base for our tenants, the Hatfield Conservative Club Limited.

“Unfortunately it has not proved possible to devise a viable scheme that included sufficient accommodation for our tenants.

“It is uncertain what plans Hatfield Conservative Club Limited have for the future and, as a completely separate body, any enquiries should be addressed directly with them.”

Other comments have been made by councillors and neighbours over the design of the refurbishment, which is contracted to Hatfield-based developer James Taylor Ltd.

Councillor Glyn Hayes, Labour ward member for Hatfield, called for the design to have a “modern, fresh look” with a pitched roof.

You can view and comment on the application at http://planning.welhat.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=89166

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