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Plans revealed for a 'water activity centre' in Lichfield

Proposals for a new centre, with a community exhibition space café opening out onto a 54-berth basin, have been submitted

Work is taking place to restore the Lichfield and Hatherton canals
Work is taking place to restore the Lichfield and Hatherton canals

Plans have been unveiled for a water activity centre in Lichfield to complement a major boost to the city’s canals.

Proposals for a new centre, with a community exhibition space café which will open out onto a 54-berth basin, have been submitted to Lichfield District Council.

They would see 1.6 hectares of land off Tamworth Road, recently removed from the green belt, transformed.

This comes amid the resurgence of historic canals for the first time in generations.

Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, which is supported by Poirot actor David Suchet, has already carried out work to restore the waterway to much of the area.

The plans state: “This development is important in the overall restoration, as it will connect the project via the facilities building to the public, informing them of the progress of the scheme, which will help secure further volunteers and donations.

“This will speed up the project’s completion by increasing awareness of the aims of the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust.

"Once the canal is open, the basin will then come online as a fully operational basin for berthing boats using the waterways and the adjacent restored section of the canal.”

Actor David Suchet is supporting work to improve Lichfield and Hatherton canals
Actor David Suchet is supporting work to improve Lichfield and Hatherton canals

Plans for the Canal Community Water Activity Centre also include parking for 45 cars plus cycle racks, a covered balcony area and photovoltaic panels to gather power.

The plan adds: “The proposal encourages leisure and physical activity which is important to counter sedentary lifestyles, giving recreational opportunities to the community.

"The proposal has been designed to create an attractive and safe environment with well-defined areas for their intended uses.”

The Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust aims to restore the Lichfield and Hatherton canals to working use.

It also wants to re-establish the links between them and the Birmingham, Coventry, Staffordshire and Worcestershire canals.

Trust chairman David Dixon said: “Our trust’s objectives are to restore the Lichfield Canal and the Hatherton Canal. We have quite a lot of work with both canals still to do.

“When we have restored the canals in that area, it is good news in principle to have something like this, but we are some way away from that.”

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