Hospital multi-storey set to go ahead

Propose car park
Propose car park
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A new multi-storey car park aimed at solving motoring misery around the Royal Preston Hospital looks set to get the go-ahead almost a decade after it was first suggested.

The city’s planning committee is expected to approve plans for the four-floor building to house 680 cars on Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood at its next meeting in nine days time.

Planners hope the “sensitively designed” structure will finally rid one of Lancashire’s biggest hospitals of a parking nightmare which has brought it into conflict with residents in surrounding roads.

Experts have recommended the 12.2-metre high car park, opposite St Clare’s School and Church, should be granted because it would all-but eradicate on-street parking which has blighted the neighbourhood for years. A study has shown more than 400 vehicles are left by staff, out-patients and visitors in surrounding streets on midweek days because of parking charges and an inadequate supply of spaces in the grounds of the hospital itself.

Building the multi-storey on land already used as a car park for 210 staff vehicles, would add an extra 470 spaces, more than enough to accommodate those parked off-site. Preston’s planning committee will be told that, despite resistance to the project over recent years, only two letters of objection were received in a recent consultation.

A report says: “Twenty-five letters have been received from local residents, including a letter from Sharoe Green and Sherwood Community Association. Most of the letters are supportive of the proposed car park because of the increase in on-site parking provision it would provide and the impact this would have on alleviating on-street parking on local residential streets.

“The Sharoe Green and Sherwood Community Association state that their recent surveys of street parking in the area show that on weekdays over 400 cars associated with the hospital are routinely parked in the streets surrounding the hospital and feel that the proposal would go some way to relieve the problem of congestion and inappropriate parking.”

Plans for a 350-space car park were first submitted in 2005, but withdrawn. In 2006 another application was refused by the council.