Controversial plans to build a new operating suite at Royal Preston Hospital have been given the nod, despite fears they will worsen an already “deplorable” traffic situation.
Applications were lodged to build a vascular and hybrid operating theatre, and also to extend a ward to provide critical care bedrooms.
Dozens of letters of objections were received from neighbours, but members of Preston Council’s planning committee approved the proposals for the “world class facility”.
Miles Timperley, director of facilities and services for Lancashire teaching hospitals, told the meeting that parking spaces would be lost during the construction. He said plans were in place to mitigate the problem in the short term, and said an application for a multi storey car park was hoped to be submitted within the next three months.
Coun Elizabeth Atkins said: “I think it’s a wonderful idea, I think it’s a great proposal, but I’m really frustrated that the multi storey car park issue wasn’t dealt with first.
“If that could have been dealt with first, we would have been able to do without all the conversation that’s gone on here. I’m really unhappy with this, I think it’s a cart before the horse situation.”
Coun Margaret McManus said: “Sharoe Green ward is being used as an extension of the hospital car park and this really isn’t good enough.”
Committee chairman Coun Brian Rollo said: “There are options for virtually everyone travelling to hospital. There are no options for trauma and intensive care patients. That’s why we should be putting this forward as a pass.”
Both applications were approved by a majority of 10 to four.