Councilors have given the go-ahead for the construction of a massive new multi-storey car park at the Royal Derby Hospital. Members of Derby City Council’s Planning Control Committee voted on a recommendation to approve plans for the 875-space car park at a meeting on Thursday evening.
The new car park, mainly for visitors and patients, will be built around the site of the current car park 6 and will be a five-storey building. It is hoped the new car park will help solve problems with traffic problems around the hospital and help the University of Derby and the Burton NHS Foundation Trust at a time when it is under increasing healthcare pressures.
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Most of the 875 parking spaces in the new multi-storey car park would replace the 574 spaces that have recently been lost to new developments or will be lost as a result of construction. This means that the hospital will provide 301 new and additional parking spaces across the site.
It was suggested at the meeting by a councilor that the car park could take a few years to be fully completed.
Cathy Winfield MBE, Executive Chief Nursing Officer at Derby University Hospitals and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are committed to improving the patient experience at our hospitals, and we know that parking at Royal Derby Hospital is a long-standing problem. We are delighted that the plans for the new multi-storey car park have been approved after working closely with our transport and planning partners. We know that once built, this car park will significantly improve on-site parking, and I know it will also be warmly welcomed by the communities we serve.
“We will continue to work with our local partners and residents as plans move forward, as well as continue to find ways to help us evolve towards a more environmentally friendly approach to travel to and from from our hospitals thanks to the improvement of public transport networks and electric vehicles to name but a few areas.
Plans for a new temporary car park at the hospital during construction work are expected to be unveiled in the near future.
Approval of the car park also means that initial feasibility work will take place, exploring the possibility of major improvements to Uttoxeter Road and the roundabout near the hospital.
Ahead of the vote, Councilor and Chair of the Planning Control Committee, Shiraz Khan, said the new car park was needed in Derby.
He said: ‘For those of us who have to go there for appointments, you can see queues backing up on Uttoxeter Road with people waiting to get a parking space. Hopefully this will reduce some of that traffic.
“Also, on the hospital grounds, there are car engines idling and creating more pollution, so we have to take that into account.”
Littleover Councilor Lucy Care said she was sad to see the traffic problems in the area.
She said: “I’m really sad that we have to do this because the adjacent roads are already very congested,” he said in the (planning) report. It’s not just the roundabout where the hospital exits and we’ve all seen the traffic issues on Kingsway (shopping park). Much of the traffic to the hospital uses these same roads, so we already have significant traffic issues.
“The other side is that this is a very important place for the people of Derby and people need to go there. In my opinion we will have to approve this for the good of the people of Derby.”