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Football pitches could still be retained if a new leisure centre is built at a Lichfield park, a report has said.

Stychbrook Park. Picture: Google Streetview

Lichfield District Council’s cabinet will decide tomorrow (6th October) whether to push ahead with the proposal at Stychbrook Park.

If the plan is backed, the site would be officially earmarked as the preferred location of the long term replacement for Friary Grange Leisure Centre.

However, a stumbling block in the long-term could be the loss of some sporting provision at Stychbrook Park if a new facility is built there.

There are currently two football pitches on the site, meaning the development would likely be opposed by Sport England.

But a report from Cllr Liz Little, cabinet member for major projects and economic development, said the pitches could yet be retained alongside the centre.

“The new leisure centre would take up an area of land currently used as a sports playing pitch – a protected land use.

“Sport England would be a statutory consultee to any planning application that included the development of a playing pitch and their default policy is to oppose such development in all but exceptional circumstances.

“However the development of a leisure centre should be in accordance with the ‘net sporting gain’ policy exemption.

“It may also be possible to reconfigure the site to allow the continued provision of the same number of pitches.

“Sport England have been involved in the development of the proposals to date and work has been undertaken in accordance with their recommended methodology.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

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