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Councillors defer decision over hospital car park amid search and rescue helicopter fears

PUBLISHED: 16:47 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:52 20 June 2018

BRISTOW S761 HELICOPTER

CREDIT: CHARLES HODGE PHOTOGRAPHY

BRISTOW S761 HELICOPTER CREDIT: CHARLES HODGE PHOTOGRAPHY

Plans for a large multi-storey car park close to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have been put on hold, after councillors deferred their decision on it amid helicopter fears.

Concerns have been raised that should the car park on Colney Lane be built, it would interfere with the flight path of the search and rescue helicopters serving the hospital.

And while council officers were satisfied an agreement between the applicants Bullen Developments and Bristow Helicopters- who provide the service - would be reached, members of South Norfolk District Council’s planning committee said they were uncomfortable approving the plans until this is reached.

Instead, members voted to defer their decision until after a solution is found that allows the helicopters to serve the hospital as effectively as possible.

Jack Hornby, councillor for the Cromwells ward, said: “In 2017 the helicopters visited the hospital 11 times, and while that does not sound much, that is 11 lives.”

A spokesman for Bullen Developments said: “We remain committed to delivering the development of the multi-story car park to provide much needed parking at the Norwich Research Park and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

“We understand and respect the decision made by the planning committee to defer the final approval pending successful resolution of their concerns surrounding safety of the alternative flight path for the Search and Rescue helicopter, and we will continue to work with Bristow to resolve the final issue as swiftly as possible.

“We would also like to reassure everyone that the application does not affect the ability of the Air Ambulance to land on the site in any way.”

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