Preferred site for Lichfield Leisure Centre to be considered

woman swimming in a pool underwater

Stychbrook Park in north Lichfield is being put forward as the preferred site for the city’s new leisure centre.

Members of the Leisure, Parks & Waste Management (Overview & Scrutiny) Committee will consider a report that recommends the planned Lichfield Leisure Centre should be built on Stychbrook Park in north Lichfield when they meet virtually on 23 September 2020.

The park has been chosen following a high-level review of eight sites in Lichfield, which also included: Stowe Fields, Shortbutts Park, Saddlers Wood, Leamonsley Park, Birmingham Road Gateway, Darnford Park and Beacon Park.

The report sets out why Stychbrook Park is the preferred choice for the proposed new-build leisure centre.

Located just off Eastern Avenue, the 3.47 hectare park is close to Friary Grange Leisure Centre, it has ample space for the new facility while retaining a large amount of green space and an outdoor sports pitch. The land is not within the green belt, a conservation area or at risk of flooding, and the ecological and loss of public open space impact of the proposed development is likely to be lower than for the other open space options.

Councillor Liz Little, Cabinet Member for Major Projects & Economic Development, said:

“Providing a modern leisure centre for the people of Lichfield and beyond is a priority for the council, and this is an important step in the process.

“A significant amount of work has gone into making sure we explore every possibility and, having looked carefully at a number of sites we own across Lichfield, we think Stychbrook Park would make a great location for a brand new leisure centre.

“It has many positives, not least because it has lots of space to deliver a new facility and we could retain plenty of green space and a sports pitch.”

In October last year, the council earmarked £5 million to invest into providing a new leisure centre, following a decision to keep Friary Grange Leisure Centre open for up to five years, while a permanent solution is progressed. 

If the committee endorses the report, and it is approved by Cabinet in October, there will be more site surveys and feasibility studies to confirm Stychbrook Park is the right location. If these are positive, a planning application for outline planning permission will be drawn up, at which point there will be opportunities for engagement and consultation with the local community.

Everyone can follow the discussion by watching the Leisure, Parks & Waste Management (Overview & Scrutiny) Committee, which will be livestreamed on the council’s YouTube channel on Wednesday 23 September at 6pm.

To find out more and to read the report when it is published online, go to www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/leisureplans

Published: 15 September 2020