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Planned car park next to hospital raises 'serious concerns' over helicopter flight paths

PUBLISHED: 11:54 18 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:59 18 June 2018

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: NNUH

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: NNUH

NNUH

A hospital has raised “very serious concerns” over plans to build a car park next to their site, saying the construction could effect the flight path of Search and Rescue helicopters.

The charity car and treasure hunt taking place in Rushall near Diss on Sunday, June 17 will be held in aid of The East Anglian Air Ambulance.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherThe charity car and treasure hunt taking place in Rushall near Diss on Sunday, June 17 will be held in aid of The East Anglian Air Ambulance. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has said that they do not “object in principle” to the planned multi-storey car park in Colney, but that the siting and scale of the proposals pose a risk to the flight paths of life-saving aircrafts.

The final decision on the 1,142 space car park will be made by the South Norfolk Council’s Development and Management Committee on June 20.

In their objection to the plans, the NNUH wrote: “The proximity of the proposed car park to the hospital brings with it very serious concerns that this will affect the flight path, and therefore unconstrained access to the helicopter landing pad area by Search and Rescue helicopters.

“The helicopters periodically attend at the site with patients needing urgent medical care.”

The original plans, submitted by Bullen Developments Ltd, saw the car park being build further away from the hospital.

In the planning document, the hospital added: “The hospital perimeter road needs to flow as efficiently as possible, bearing in mind that it is utilised by emergency vehicles on a regular basis.”

According to Bristow Helicopters, which operates the HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter service on behalf of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, the car park would probably change the classification of the aviation environment from ‘congested but not hostile’ to ‘congested and hostile’.

They added: “This would require helicopter operations to be conducted under more stringent regulations.”

The plan is currently a reserved matter, and is recommended for approval on certain conditions such as cycle parking and lighting details.

Other consultants generally had no objections to the plan. SNC Conservation and Design commented: “The new design approach is more simplified, more coherent and more contextual in terms of materials used and fitting in with the wider rural context within which the research park sits.”

South Norfolk’s economic development manager added: “If approved this development will provide essential car parking within zone four of the park, as well as providing business rates income and creating a small number of new jobs.”

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