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A park in Lichfield has been put forward as the preferred site for a new leisure centre in the city.

Stychbrook Park. Picture: Google Streetview

Members of the leisure, parks and waste management overview and scrutiny committee will be told Stychbrook Park has been earmarked as the long-term replacement for Friary Grange Leisure Centre at a meeting next week.

Lichfield District Council has been looking at potential options for a new facility, but opted for the preferred location after also examine areas such as Stowe Fields, Shortbutts Park, Saddlers Wood, Leamonsley Park, Birmingham Road Gateway, Darnford Park and Beacon Park.

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The land off Eastern Avenue was chosen as the 3.47 hectare park is close to the current site at Friary Grange and would have space for an outdoor sports pitch.

Cllr Liz Little, cabinet member for major projects and economic development, said:

“Providing a modern leisure centre for the people of Lichfield and beyond is a priority for the council, and this is an important step in the process.

“A significant amount of work has gone into making sure we explore every possibility and, having looked carefully at a number of sites we own across Lichfield, we think Stychbrook Park would make a great location for a brand new leisure centre.

“It has many positives, not least because it has lots of space to deliver a new facility and we could retain plenty of green space and a sports pitch.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

In October last year, the council earmarked £5million to invest into providing a new leisure centre, following a decision to keep Friary Grange open for up to five years while a permanent solution was developed.  

If the committee endorses the report on 23rd September and it is approved by cabinet in October, there will be more site surveys and feasibility studies to confirm Stychbrook Park as the planned location.

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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22 Comments

  1. No thank you, as much I we support a new facility this will create yet more cars on an already busy road (Curborough) the junction of eastern avenue is already difficult and doesn’t need the extra traffic. There are much better options within the city.

  2. There is plenty of private provision already. Perhaps the park could provide an opportunity to roll back some of the ecological loss due to development, encourage people to exercise outdoors…free of charge!

  3. Are they going to build a car park, a 25m pool and a pitch on that space? It’s big but not that big. The houses that look onto that field will have to deal with so much noise from building! Losing that field plus the space opposite Tesco Express will be a lot of green area to lose in a small area…

  4. I grew up playing there, walking my dogs and riding bikes. There already are about 4 rubbish leisure centres in Lichfield why not revamp them? No let’s destroy what makes Lichfield unique and turn it into somewhere that looks like handsworth

  5. There is no publicly funded leisure centre open in Lichfield and extensive work by the Council has gone into establishing the best site. A flourishing city requires good public facilities and compromise amongst its residents.

  6. Oh dear! Why do we need more buildings, traffic, noise in the north of Lichfield the streets are already packed with vehicle, this is our open space and it’s a lot of green land to lose.

  7. @Kenny, where in Lichfield are there ‘4 rubbish leisure centres’? If anyone has ever visited Handsworth, and there are some nice areas, despite some poor decision making by LDC, Lichfield will never in a million years look like Handsworth.
    Not in a long long time have I agreed with an LDC decision, given of course it gets the go-ahead but I for one think this is a very good choice as it will keep the leisure centre in the North of the city and in the heart of the community.
    @ H – The entrance could always be changed and placed on Eastern Ave in much the same way as the Friary Leisure Centre is.

  8. I live nearby and share some concerns about traffic and loss of green space. Then again, having amenities in North Lichfield is good for this part of the city, and it provides some continuity with Friary Grange.

  9. Also, I lived in Handsworth for 8 years before living here, and I can confirm that Lichfield is, well, slightly different! Not sure what Kenny is trying to say there, but Handsworth’s Leisure Centre is located in Handsworth Park, a beautiful city park with its own parakeets (yes, really), and it seems to work fine.

  10. A totally dreadful and astonishingly badly conceived proposal. It appears to me that Lichfield Councillors seem to deliberately out of their way to anatagonise their constituents. Surely it is in their mandate to minimise the destruction of green spaces, which are of great benefit to the local community? The Councillors seem to have a very complacent attitude in this regard and seemingly appear to have scant regard for the importance of green areas in local communities. The destruction of a green space should only be considered as a final resort after all other options have been exhausted.
    Additionally, as someone has stated, this section of Curborough Road is totally inappropriate from the higher volume of traffic a leisure centre would bring. I sincerely hope that after a review, this terrible idea is permanently scrapped and common sense will prevail.

  11. I think the opportunity should be taken to have it in a central position in Lichfield
    on a brownfield field site and if it takes up the whole of the Birmingham road site, at least it will have been put to good use and not taken up with houses shops Etc.and if the ground is used where the Council offices are then it could become a proper leisure Centre with a small cinema Etc. but with no income from houses it will not be even considered, but it would be very convenient for all residents of Lichfield

  12. Next to the bus station in Lichfield city perfect so all areas of Lichfield near it and could use Public Transport from Burntwood and Shenstone. Young people do not ahve cars. Car park near bye for adults. Why build on grass. Also getting out on to Eastern Avenue is not easy / safe as traffic volumes increase and LDC do not cut bushes in the area only grass verge.

  13. We would agree with Dereck Jones why put a leisure centre on grass when you have alovely location close to bus station for every one to have easy access particularly those with no cars. Why not use something that has become a dead herring due to some one pulling out of a preposed scheme. I am sure the previous owner of this site would take pleasure from this after he was encouraged / pushed to move his car business.
    Yours faithfully. Mr and Mrs I Brazendale

  14. Friarsgate will be a massive housing estate. No space for the leisure centre there.

    I am not sure why we have gifted Friary Grange Leisure Centre to the school. There was the leisure centre at King Edwards that the council did not extend the lease on.

    Now, they have decided they need a new leisure centre and swimming pool. It is an atrocious lack of planning and waste of money. I am sure most of the councilors who have wasted all of this money, are all still around and allowed to make a greater mess, than they already have.

  15. They gifted the Leisure Centre because that’s how academicisation works, transferring taxpayer capital to the private sector. There are multiple examples since 2010. It makes money for a company that had no assets prior, and has an adviser on the board who seems to do this serially (previously in Sutton Coldfield).

  16. Firstly, I am confused, still, as to why the current facilities at Friary Grange are no longer available. A full explanation on that would be appreciated, before looking to discard it and build a new facility. Is this another example of our “Throw away “ society, where we want new rather than improve the old. Wasn’t a grant Secured by Sports England to fund the work on the current facilities?
    Stychbrook park is exactly that, a park. A large, flat, green space where people walk, picnic, play football, fly kites. It is a space where local families can go to play together that costs them nothing. Local children meet together on here to play and practice sports safely and with no fee. Not far from here, there are people living in flats without gardens of there own, so this area is a huge benefit for them. This park has a value as a park, for all the community to use as it is.

  17. What an opportunity to include the Council Offices in the design of a Leisure Centre, Tourist Centre, Public Toilets, Snack Bar, all as a central hub were our coach visitors Etc arrive, and easy access to all our residents, as for parking as it is a central position, we would all have to get on our bikes, walk, bus.
    OR am I being too ambitious!!!!!!
    OR do the Council have other possibly unacceptable ideas for the site!!!!

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