Chronic shortages of parking space at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital could be eased under plans to develop former farm land next to the site.

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Bullen Developments – which bought the land in November – is in advanced talks with the hospital to create between 300 and 700 new spaces on a private development known as Norwich Research Park South. The developer is hoping to submit a planning application for the new car park to South Norfolk Council in June.

The new car park is just a small part of a 74-acre development, which it is hoped could also see a clinical research facility built and bring start-up, spin-off and established businesses to Norfolk.

The development is part of an ambitious blueprint for the area unveiled this week, which could create 5,000 jobs in Norfolk. Norwich Research Park’s plans – known as Project 26 – include upgrading infrastructure including roads and the IT system and building new office and laboratory space.

Mike Carpenter, head of planning at Birketts, who submitted the plans for Bullen Developments, said: “We are looking to submit an application for more car parking space. The hospital has changed so much over the years. The last time we extended the car parking was in 2003. It looks after so many more patients that anyone who visits at visiting times struggles to park there.

“The rough indication is between 300 and 700 spaces, but that is rough and ready. That is the sort of figure we are talking about.”

He said that the spaces would benefit both staff and patients.

“They try to get visitors as close to the hospital as possible and so anything that is further away from the hospital for staff will free up space for patients,” he said.

Chief executive of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Anna Dugdale, said patient experience surveys demonstrated that parking was a really important issue to patients.

“We know we have major issues with our car parking and we hope this application will go some way to helping. Cars are parked and abandoned all around the hospital and the grounds as people try to get to the hospital,” she added.

The issue of car parking spaces at the hospital has been a long-running one and there are often queues to get one of the 850-spaces it currently has.

A spokesman for patient group Norfolk LINk, said: “We welcome plans to expand the car parking facilities at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. If given the go ahead, Norfolk LINk would encourage the developers and the hospital to make sure the views of patients are sought at all stages of the design work to ensure the new car park not only provides much needed extra spaces, but also takes into account issues such as their location and distance from main hospital entrances and facilities for disabled visitors.”

Talks are also taking place between the developers and the University of East Anglia and the hospital to build a clinical research facility on Norwich Research Park South.

Ms Dugdale added: “We have been working with the University of East Anglia in the past 18 months to bring some really top international research clinical academics to Norwich. The building is part of the overall strategy.”

The potential hospital plans form part of the southern area, which is due for expansion. The second area, known as Norwich Research Park North, will see state-of-the-art facilities and businesses opened up around the existing park.

Mr Carpenter said: “We imagine it (NRP South) will be a mixture of small start-up businesses up to much larger ones related or ancillary to research and medical matters. We haven’t started to market it yet. We want outline planning permission as the companies that would want to move here are at the vanguard of research.

“We will be competing with sites around the world and we are keen to make it clear that we can deliver quality. When we have got outline planning permission we can get on with a full application. The company can see that we can deliver that.”

A public drop-in evening will be held tonight, between 5pm and 7pm, and on Saturday, between 10am and 1pm, at the UEA Sportspark.

A questionnaire will be available at the consultation meetings and electronic copies of the form and a questionnaire can be downloaded from www.norwichresearchpark.com/masterplan.

All comments must be provided by Friday, May 4.

22 comments

  • So much for the promises made when plans were made for the hospital to be relocated to Colney. Earlham Rd and Colney lane will buckle under the weight of traffic. What NNUH and NRP need is a direct link road to Southern Norwich Bypass.

    Report this comment

    NchNthMan

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • havn't you ever heard off mulitistorie car parks, no need for more land just make them 10 stories

    Report this comment

    billythebookie2000@yahoo.co.uk

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • I agree with the comments about a multi storey car park. For those of you who think the N & N is poor you should try hospitals in other parts of the country. I received a similar procedure at the N & N to one I had years before I moved here. The N & N won hands down. Not only is it a modern and bright hospital but it also has fantastic staff. I think its a fantastic service.

    Report this comment

    Doris

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • Obviously a sensible idea to expand the car parks if possible. I do hope that when more capacity is provided they will clamp down on the illegal and dangerous parking around the access roads. Many people park illegally even when the car parks have plenty of spaces.

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    Brian the Snail

    Sunday, April 29, 2012

  • What an absolutely ridiculous idea RichardS. I assume you don't work in a hospital!!!

    Report this comment

    jinky63

    Sunday, April 29, 2012

  • Regarding the amount of extra parking required, I know that almost three and a half thousand parking permits were given out to staff with less than two thousand places available. So it would seem that no thought whatsoever went into the planning of car parks here!

    Report this comment

    pelinore

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • The N & N Hospital should have remained in the City,with its infrastructure and transport links,making private transport for both Patients and Visitors in most cases unneccessary.Now more Green Land is to be placed under Ashphalt.and the urban spread goes on and on

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    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • A hospital in the wrong place, built with the costly Private Finance initiative that costs millions a year and inadequate car parks charging patients for the privilege of using a service they have already paid for! Now as a sticking plaster solution they want to extend the car parks,brilliant, they can make more money. You couldn't make it up!.The saving grace is the sheer professionalism and caring approach of the staff,whose expertise more than makes up for the shortcomings of the hospital.

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • We have to use the N & N also Addenbrookes, we are lucky and can use Park and Ride locally but Adeenbrookes is huge, they have solved a lot of the parking problem by using multistorey with a small free mini bus running a circular route around the site

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • Anyone who has ever been to the hospital has, for years, been infuirated by the parking shortage. It just begs belief that it has taken so long for someone to buy a patch of land sitting opposite the hospital, bearing in mind the lovely money that will be raked in. I wonder if this development will just bulldoze through the extensive tree line shown on the plan or will any thought be given to wildlife already inhabiting the area? There is so much space here I do not see why they have to encroach into habitats at all. Of course this is just a plan, but I would hope the developers are considerate in this respect. Ha ha who am i kidding!!!??

    Report this comment

    Eye of Providence

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • When this hospital was built, a dedicated direct access to the southern bypass was suggested by myself and many others. To increase the capacity means to increase the volumne of traffic, so ambulances response times would increase. This unsustainable development on another greenfield site, when it is perfectly feasible to build it underneath the existing car park, at a cost, is merely increasing the alredy biggest car park in Norfolk.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • We to here in Northern Ontario have a new hospital to replace the two older ones in the downtown area,and the planners must have been the same as yours. Only difference being we do have lots of parking space, but the hospital buildings footprint is about twice as large as yours, which means once you are inside you have lots of walking or wheel to do. They could have put in two moving walkways, one coming the other going, but that would have brought to cost up too much or the other idea was to get segways to move people around. As you get older and need their services more this aspect would have been a nice idea for them to have considered before actually building the place. But there again, who are we to complain, after all the planners are the experts!

    Report this comment

    canuk

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • At the same time they ought to be thinking about enlarging the hospital and adding some more beds, it's only a matter of time before it won't cope.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • Stands to reason they're going to need more parkings paces - look at all the patients who are now having to trek there from Cromer (no bed) hospital and it will get worse. While the hospital are rubbing their heads over this can we also be have some kitchens at the N & N instead of bringing the food in by road every day from Cambridge? That was another stupid planning idea. For what was called a "Flagship hospital" the N & N is a joke.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • Oh Goodie, the Trust must be rubbing hits hands together and so must the private car parking company. More spaces to charge excessive fees from a captive audience. Patients and relatives held to ransome in modern day highway robbery

    Report this comment

    Farquarson-Smythe

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • Its about tiMe they sorted the parking out. Its not just visitors having trouble but patients too, there needs to be more disabled spaces closer to the hospital too. Every appointment is spent hunting a space. And nope cant take bus as it would take hrs and cant get mibility scooter on as we dont have those busses un our little village.

    Report this comment

    thumper327

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • Shoudnbe free to park there.Hospital too small and has no kitchen.a let down for Norfolk.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • Several railway stations have met an increase in parking demand by constructing a deck over the existing ground level car park. This seems to be a quick and economical method of providing around 75% more spaces without requiring more land and without making people walk further. The aerial photo in the article is not orientated north-south - "NRP South" is actually north-west of the hospital. Of the available options for locating more parking it does seem to be the best in terms of convenience for the hospital entrances. I appreciate the need to understand the concerns of the in-patients and their visitors, but its the out-patients who suffer the most under the present arrangements. The time required to make sure you are not late for a consultation is enormous, especially if you have come a long way and also have to find a vacant toilet.

    Report this comment

    JCW

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • Nobody is able to say how much car parking is needed. It's just more. The solution already exists which is the P&R. In addition P&R services from the other sites eg: Sprowston would increase options. Sadly, folk do not give themselves enough time to use the P&R expecting door to door facilities on demand. The old hospital site and structures were clearly not suitable for modern expectations and treatment. New techniques and treatments affect the throughput of patients but there must be concern about impact of new housing in Norfolk (and water) but don't forget QE2 and JPH which could expand. Without PFI it seems to me unlikely that new hospital would have been built. It is easy to see the small picture, but we all find it hard to see the bigger and wider picture. How many car park spaces are enough? How many beds are enough? Nobody actually knows.

    Report this comment

    RichardS

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • Here's an idea to the outpatients problem - Drive Through Consulting Rooms. As there is a finite number of consultants and also appointment slots - instead of a new car park each consultant is given a drive through facility. This has numerous advantages. Firstly in many cases the patient will not need to get out of their car, discussing the situation with the consultant through the window. Each appointment slot will be strictly timed and no overrun allowed irrespective of how ill a person is or complex their condition. This means that subsequent patients will know exactly the time they will be able to drive-in and be seen. This also means that it is very fair and nobody would need to wait. The park and ride service could be reduced and all existing car parking used for visitors and those needing more than a simple face to face discussion. Drive through blood tests, drive through eye tests, and other simple functions would be the next stage.

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    RichardS

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • RichardS, Your comments made me chuckle and its very rare that any message on here does that. Yours is the kind of "out of thebox" thinking we need. I assume that youre not being entirley serious?

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • Planners not planning ahead? Such a shock! These people need to be held accountable and sacked when they demonstrate such incredible incompetence, not promoted as happens now.

    Report this comment

    Homes4locals

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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