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Councillors have been told that a park is “the best solution” for the location of a new leisure centre in Lichfield.
An overview and scrutiny committee backed the plans to make Stychbrook Park the preferred location for a long term replacement of Friary Grange Leisure Centre.
A number of sites across the city were examined, but Cllr Liz Little, cabinet member for major projects and economic development, said the land off Curborough Road had emerged as a clear front-runner.
“Desktop analysis was carried out for eight sites we own – the identification of Stychbrook Park is the outcome of a very robust and comprehensive process.
“The cabinet are aware of the sensitivity of developing on public open space and concerns have already been raised by residents in the vicinity.
“But we believe that the location offers the best solution.”
The council is hoping to construct the new leisure centre after being told the lifespan of Friary Grange Leisure Centre is around five years.
Cllr Deborah Baker said the site offered a long-term solution to the issues around leisure provision in Lichfield.
“We do have the space at Stychbrook Park to add and co-locate other recreational sports and exercise facilities.
“We are looking to the long term future and not just the next few years.”Cllr Deborah Baker
Criticisms have been made by local residents over the loss of the green space.
But Cllr Little told the meeting that difficult decisions had needed to be made.
“None of us want to relinquish public open space.
“If we had a brownfield site that we owned other than the Birmingham Road Site, then that would have been our first port of call, but we haven’t.
“If we were to purchase land for a new leisure centre, it would increase costs and it is unlikely we’d get one within the budget designated.”Cllr Liz Little
The recommendation for Stychbrook Park to become the preferred location for the new leisure centre will now go forward to a meeting of the cabinet in October.
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