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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.

Stychbrook Park. Picture: Google Streetview

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.

Cllr Liz Little

“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.

The example layout for the new leisure centre at Stychbrook Park. Picture: Lichfield District Council

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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  1. I have concerns about using this site for a development such as this. The access off Curborough Rd is right next to houses , on a quiet road and close to an already dangerous road junction with Eastern Ave. The flood lit Astroturf is behind houses and would cause noise and light pollution to those concerned. Lichfield deserves a bigger & better leisure centre than what is proposed here, we are a growing city and this facility just isn’t enough I’m afraid. Find a bigger, better placed site and build one that’s appropriate. The playing fields site off the A51 would have better access and not close to residential houses.

  2. Totally agree with the above comments. As Helen Langham suggests what about the site off the A51 where there is more space and no housing. Stychbrook Park is far too close to residential housing and would cause a lot of distress to residents whose houses border the site. Has the council published a list of sites considered for all to see?

  3. Pleased for council to have been able to make a site decision.
    Please, please in the planning can you consider large enough and flexible enough pool facilities to offer the whole community access throughout the day without competing with schools toddler/baby groups or private pool parties.
    I believe all of the above need access but in addition to a wet training space and of course discreet access and changing for our disabled residents.
    As per an earlier message from me – I feel that a pool plus system which maybe includes an upper floor containing courts dance studios and hireable meeting spaces would act as a fitness hub and also would help to regain some of the funds spent on design and completion. Obviously a partially covered break out area would encourage outdoor fitness sessions such as those I’ve seen in Iceland etc. A healthy food service counter or indoor seating area such as at Wyndly Pool would complete what sounds an exciting look into Lichfield’s future.
    I hope that the council can now crack on and get this project underway. The sooner it is done the sooner no more cash is spent on the the tired Friary .

  4. Whatever the people say an plea with our council, they dont listen, they are out for their own interests. The council are making it clear, that they dont serve the best interests of the people of Lichfield an the children of the families who grew up here.

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