Preparatory work as part of a plan to build a leisure centre on a park in Lichfield will begin this week.

Stychbrook Park. Picture: Google Streetview

Lichfield District Council is hoping to build a replacement for Friary Grange Leisure Centre on Stychbrook Park.

Over the next two weeks, workers from Speller Metcalfe will be carrying out utilities and ground mapping surveys across the site.

Ben Percival, head of operational services at Lichfield District Council, said:

“The work at Stychbrook Park is part of our early information gathering process and is designed to tell us about ground conditions underneath the surface of the park. 

“The information we get back will be important when initial plans for the new leisure centre are drawn up later on in the project.

“The work being carried out over the next two weeks shouldn’t disrupt use of the park in any way.”

Ben Percival, Lichfield District Council

The news comes after controversial plan to build on open space at Netherstowe and Leyfields was ditched – with the leader of the council saying “building on our open spaces isn’t okay”.

A plan of the new leisure centre layout at Stychbrook Park

The proposed new leisure centre is intended to feature a 25 metre swimming pool with a movable floorer lessons, a fitness suite and three group exercise studios and multi-function rooms.

The plans also include a 3G artificial pitch.

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20 Comments

  1. “Building on our open spaces isn’t okay.” – the Leader of LDC 24 hours ago.

    “Look! We’re going to build on a park!!!!” – LDC PR department today.

    Right-hand, do you know what your left-hand is doing?

  2. Why don’t they look to get Debenhams and Argos stores and convert them into a sports centre and pool? Maybe even a ten pin bowling alley. That would bring people into town.

  3. Leisure centre needs to be central for all to use without cars. Buikd on Debenhams/ multi storey. Great for young people, will be used more. Less empt shops. Next to bus station! Plans need to change with the times.

  4. I wonder how long it will be before they realise the car park needs extending and they will need more of the park to cover with tarmac to replace the green fields ? Sad for the future !!!

  5. Why do they have to destroy our natural beauty. There is a derelict factory by Trent Valley Station they could use and i’m sure there are others if they just bother to look. It’s just wrong. Natural areas should be safe. Lots of people use that park.

  6. What about Friarsgate site? with Debenhams for indoor activities combined with multi story car park & bus station with station opposite – it is ideal for travel, parking etc. LDC have had long enough to come up with something for Friarsgate -so far zilch. Got to better than building in park!

  7. The woods in Stychbrook Park were mostly planted by the local school kids. It is part of their legacy to their own children. The site is in the Forest of Mercia and it is improper to effectively destroy a public park in the most deprived parish in Lichfield. The pitches served us in mind and body within the bypass and has been a blessing in the pandemic. I designed Darnford Park and other public spaces and I believe there are better options to serve the town than the loss of this open space that offers other opportunities that councillors have never conceived for minimal investment. For instance a secure dog park and training facility.

  8. If not at Debenhams and Argos, how about on Friarsgate. ?? It’s already level and right by the bus station and multi storey.

  9. If we are thinking about a greener future for our city it makes sense to keep it central so less travel involved. Can’t for the life of me see why it has to be built on a green space that people need more of

  10. “The work at Stychbrook Park is part of our early information gathering process and is designed to tell us about ground conditions underneath the surface of the park.

    “The information we get back, will be important when making excuses, for the leisure centre, not meeting residents expectations”

    An LDC spokesperson.

  11. COUNCILS REASONS, for not building Leisure Centre on the “Birmingham Road site
    Extract from “Lichfield Live” Dated 25th Sept 2020
    It would be too costly to build a new leisure centre on the site of the failed Friarsgate development in Lichfield city centre, councillors have been told.
    Dated 25th Sept 2020
    Cllr Liz Little, cabinet member for major projects and economic development, said:

    “Birmingham Road Site was identified as a possible site, but following the analysis it was not favourable for a number of reasons.
    “It is situated in a conservation area which would inherently increase the build costs.
    “Parking would also be an issue in a city centre location, and the site has already been identified for other purposes in the approved city centre masterplan.”

    Cllr Liz Little.
    also Council Report dated 23rd Sept 2020
    Birmingham Road
     Loss of deliverables from City Centre Masterplan – a leisure centre
    would likely take up the entire site
     Conservation area
     Adjacent heritage assets present design sensitivity
     Constrained site will restrict facility – larger facilities (sports halls,
    pitches) would not fit
     Car parking conflict with City Centre users (car parking is a concern
    at the current site

  12. Agree with all the comments – with the demise of Debenhams and the availability of Friarsgate (I can’t see retail being viable anymore), it would make more sense to repurpose these sites for the leisure centre and bring more people into the centre of Lichfield instead of building on a greenfield site and take away more of the limited greenspace we have in North Lichfield. If the council truly believes that building on open spaces isn’t OK then stick to your word and leave Stychbrook Park as it is !

  13. Wonder how many decades it will take these dinosaurs to see this one through. And when they do it will look horrendous like the rest of the approved building projects in Lichfield.

  14. Whilst repurposing Debenhams and empty shops is a good idea as the likelihood of new retail tenants is zero at the moment. However the main issue has been overlooked – does LDC actually own the site? If not what would be the cost of buying it and what would the costs be for retrofit as a leisure centre? You cannot knock it down as it’s integral to the shopping centre and massive disruption would be caused for existing businesses. This could be even more expensive than a new build. Not saying the proposed site is a good solution but just highlighting problems with some of the alternatives mentioned earlier by contributors.

  15. I feal it would be a good ider as it’s a big plot of land and dose need something to fill it in abit I feal it would be a grate ider for both children and families to give them something to do I say yes

  16. Alan Reeves please rewrite in intelligible English because you have probably written a useful comment if I could understand it

  17. Another green area being taken over . We don’t want a leisure centre built on this land. Where will people park. On Curborough road as they do when the football matches are on over the weekend . Where will the entrance and exit be to the centre this, causing far too much traffic in Curborough Road. . The area will be ruined. Disruptive to nearby residents. Please build it somewhere else, surely there are other sites around Lichfield .

  18. Mike, what you are saying there is that you don’t think those with SEN should contribute to this forum. Please rewrite showing more understanding and inclusivity.

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