Councillors have been urged to rethink plans to build a new leisure centre on a park in Lichfield.

Stychbrook Park. Picture: Google Streetview

Proposals have been put forward to put the long term replacement for Friary Grange Leisure Centre on Stychbrook Park.

A meeting of Lichfield District Council’s cabinet this week revealed that the facility would not include a sports hall or indoor courts for squash.

Lichfield Civic Society said the local authority needed to look again at the proposals.

“Stychbrook Park for a leisure centre, but no sports hall and therefore no provision for team games? This proposal requires a rethink.

“At the very least, clubs will want reassurance about where they can continue playing indoor team games.”

Lichfield Civic Society spokesperson

The meeting saw councillors reassured that the design of the proposed leisure centre would allow for additional elements to be added on in future.

Cllr Richard Cox, cabinet member for community engagement, said it was crucial that participants in some sports were not forgotten.

“We should be all inclusive. I understand the economics behind it, but we had our wishlist including badminton and squash courts and it then gets dwindled down.

“Yes, we have a new facility but it’s important we look after our minority sports as well.

“I am encouraged that we have the space and that possibility further down the line these elements will be considered.”

Cllr Richard Cox, Lichfield District Council

The initial proposals were scaled back in a bid to reduce the funding gap for the project.

Lichfield District Council has already pledged £5million to support the new facility, but the meeting this week was told even with the reduced scheme, £6.65million of funding would still need to be sourced to make the project a reality.

Cllr Liz Little

Cllr Liz Little, cabinet member for major projects, said the task group set up to look at the new leisure centre proposals had recognised why some elements could not be included in the initial build.

“There was disappointment the £17million project in the needs assessment wasn’t going forward, but the majority of councillors were aware it does cost money to build a new leisure centre.

“All councillors at the task and finish group were in full support of the current facilities mix being put forward.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

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  1. The leisure centre is for everyone in the City, so the District Council should consider a fund raising appeal to support the cost. This would not be the first time that Lichfield has raised private donations for a public resource, and the old Victoria Hospital is an example. The centre could be set up as a charity and thus be able to bid for funds, in particular from the Big Lottery with the District Council contributing match funding, ie half the cost.

  2. How right the civic society are. I don’t think that the council are in touch with the needs of the people at all. Their own report, commissioned in 2012, states that there is no need for any more football pitch provision in the district and that the ageing profile of Lichfield’s population requires a set of leisure facilities to suit these potential users. None of this is being taken into account. Listen to the people!

  3. As far as I can see the new leisure centre proposed is inadequate to cope with the needs of ‘greater’ Lichfield – if we want people from the new developments to use these facilities then they need to be BIGGER – the site near Eastern avenue is too small.

  4. Interesting point Roger. Except for the small point that the proposal is to build the leisure centre on land currently used by local clubs to play football . So there will actually be fewer pitches. Glad you’re happy.

  5. Asellus
    We already have to put up with the foul language eminating from football games two or three times a week, but this development, with its proposed floodlit pitch, will only serve footballers, not the multiple users of the park, and will produce noise and light pollution 7 days and nights a week.

  6. As I have mentioned before, many Curborough Rd and immediate area residents do not wish this project to go ahead. Please listen to us for once ?

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