Preparatory work as part of plans to build a new leisure centre on a park in Lichfield are set to resume.

Stychbrook Park. Picture: Google Streetview

Stychbrook Park has been earmarked for the long-term replacement for Friary Grange Leisure Centre.

The work to assess soil conditions and take groundwater depth measurement will take place after travellers who had set up camp on the site left last week.

A survey will also examine the ecological impact of the project and identify any valuable or protected animals, plants or habitats within Stychbrook Park along with a search for any archaeological sites to help understand past uses of the land.

Traffic surveys on Curborough Road and the junction with Eastern Avenue will also be carried out

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet member for major projects, said:

Cllr Liz Little

“We still have a long way to go, but I am pleased to see this work continuing in line with our commitment to replace Friary Grange Leisure Centre with a new facility in north Lichfield.

“I understand park users will be concerned about further disruption to the park given recent events, but I can assure them that Stychbrook Park will remain open and accessible at all times during the work which will only take one or two weeks to complete.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

The information gathered from the site investigations is being used to inform initial design planning for the proposed new leisure centre and secure support for the project from organisations such as Sport England. 

If built, the facility will feature a 25m pool with a movable floor to support swimming lessons, a fitness suite, three group exercise studios and a 3G artificial football pitch.

Join the Conversation


  1. We don’t want it in our green space …. Why not use the the old Kenning garage site by the train station ….
    I suppose it will end up as granny flats

  2. Wrong Place. Please do not take away our green spaces. Why not [at last] use the old Kennings site right opposite the station close to car parks, for a new Leisure Centre inc. a decent swimming pool for use by all community. That location makes more sense & will be welcomed as for last few years it has been an unused Brownfield site. Wake up LCC/LDC – Brownfield is OK!!

  3. They should build this on the under used and poor quality football pitches that are just off the A51 by Christchurch / Lemonsley Woods instead of this site. Opposite side of the road to Beacon Park pitch and put course. Or even use the pitch and put course. The fields at Stychbrook are well used and enjoyed by local residents please don’t take them away from us.

  4. As nice it would be to see something done with the wasteland which is the biggest achievement of the Friarsgate Fiasco, it seems like a bad place for a leisure centre. It would funnel even more traffic in to that crossroads area which is already congested. Or it would, if there was any car parking, which there wouldn’t be because there’d be no space for it. Unless the building was multiple stories with car parking above the facilities, which people would probably brand an eyesore.
    The Stychbrook Park site is at least four times bigger than the wasteland.
    Perhaps it would make more sense to spend the money on fixing whatever is wrong with Friary Grange.

  5. The site near the bus and train station is the obvious choice for the position of a new leisure centre. Why can’t the council see this!

  6. Because they’re ‘blind’ Therese Keen. So many are of the same opinion, but it appears that public opinion is of no consequence.

  7. the owners of the kennings site should be bought to justice for neglecting the city it would make a great car park

  8. Surely there are better places. The old GKN site is going derelict there’s a Lidl site empty could have built next to the new Lidl but there building houses. Come on Lichfield your building on all our open spaces for god sake wise up!!!!

  9. Quotes taken from a report in Lichfield Live (25th September, 2020)
    “The Birmingham Road Site will be in reserve”

    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 Paul Ray said,
    Although I support Stychbrook, two other options I thought might be viable options if this didn’t go ahead. First one was I asked about Beacon Park because there are locations that were considered. Other one was BRS which I think should be left as a reserve.
    “But the Birmingham Road Site does offer a fantastic central location and the infrastructure is very strong.
    “I do appreciate there are some challenges with it, such as build costs, but there is a potential positive in that our city centre is having to be reinvented – we knew that anyway and COVID-19 has brought that even more into the spotlight.
    “A leisure centre in the city centre could have be real catalyst in driving footfall.”

    As they are struggling to find a viable use for “Friarsgate” site or “Birmingham Road” as it is known as now, perhaps our Leaders should reconsider the location of the Leisure Centre before its too late

  10. Well Ann’s…. Most of the ideas come from the unelected backroom administration. The elected council are only there to nod their heads and rubber stamp them. Public opinion ends at the ballot box. The whole system is rotten at root and branch. Our so called democracy!?

  11. Why o why another leisure centre??..
    So what’s going to happen to the friary??..
    What Lichfield needs is more shops with cheaper rents and not pay towards the upkeep of the cathedral…
    We don’t need another leisure centre or more houses as got no shops to keep people in Lichfield… The Christmas lights are terrible even though Lichfield is a city – Birmingham, London and Blackpool are better than Lichfield

  12. It’s a great location, and our local community will gain much from this new leisure centre. It will serve the North of the city and many people will be able to walk there. It doesn’t chew up green open space, it enhances it. I’m glad to see the Council isn’t dragging it’s feet on the matter and I think more people should get behind it.

  13. @Deborah. This is to replace the Friary when it closes. I mean, there was a whole public campaign about it and everything. Maybe search for “Friary Grange” on this website and have a read.

  14. Steve
    Can we have a leisure centre in the the South, East and West of Lichfield, so we can all walk to use one, we do not all have our own transport, but at least most residents are able to reach the City Centre by using one bus, but to get to the proposed location will mean at least 2 bus journeys, that if a bus does go to Stychbrook Park. perhaps you will let me know if it is accessible by bus

  15. Well said Paul and Steve. Over 10,000 people signed the petition for a new leisure centre which we desperately need to keep our community physically and mentally healthy. Out of town locations with decent public transport links are much better than the old friarsgate site. Also, the site is in North Lichfield and will be accessible on foot by thousands living near by.

  16. @Woody. Yes you can. Start by getting organised. Maybe a petition. Good luck.

    The simple facts are, that the Council have considered alternative sites. The original site at FGLC is out, because it’s in disrepair (shored up with temporary patches), and is now run by the academy. It’s a no go. Other ideas people have been coming up with (build in either in or on the Debenhams site for example) range from totally impractical to complete pie in the sky.
    Just two years ago, local people were screaming at the closure of FGLC and demanding a replacement. Cllr Doug Pullen came personally to a well attended public meeting at Curborough Community Centre, and listen to the strength of feeling. He then directed his officers to get on with find a solution. Now he has, all the moaning starts. I bet he wonders why he even bothers.

  17. Yet more green land laid to bare by LCC and if it’s on a scale of the Friary or KE the whole field will become a closed environment to free public access. Random parking on Curborough Road is bad enough when it’s used/was used as a football ground and any overflow from the Leisure Centre will be equally as obstructive to flowing traffic.

  18. The new leisure center will still be accessible by the same bus company that went passed the old on, so people can ge a bus from the town to get to it to save using their car,

  19. I vote for the old library site by beacon park. Then we could have a transparent water chute, across beacon street into minster pool .

  20. Old Kenning site ideal, central, uses brown field site, easy for non driving people to get to by train or bus or being central fairly close to cycle to. Why destroy more green space. No consultation. The more I see of LDC decisions the more I despair. More traffic onto a busy junction, then along Eastern Avenue! Another no brainer. P.S. Do Councillors have to pass an IQ test before applying to waste my money? Pass rate is?


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