Deferred application for multi-storey car park near hospital to be discussed again

A Bristow's helicopter. Photo: Bill Smith

A Bristow's helicopter. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2011

Proposals for a new multi-storey car park close to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital return to committee today.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: NNUH

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: NNUH - Credit: NNUH

Last month, members of South Norfolk Council's planning committee delayed their decision over Norwich Research Park's application to build a large car park on Colney Lane.

The decision was made after fears were raised that the project would interfere with the flight path of the search and rescue helicopters, which serve the hospital.

Committee members felt further work was required to find a solution which to suit the needs of both the applicants and Bristow Helicopters, which run the search and rescue service.

A month on and the committee will once again discuss the plans, which include a 1,142-space multi-storey car park on the current flat parking area across the road from the hospital's accident and emergency department.

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Following the deferral decision, Bullen Developments, who are looking to build the car park on the behalf of the Norwich Research Park, said they remained committed to delivering the project.

A Bullen spokesman said: '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.'

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While the application suggested alternative flight paths for the search and rescue helicopter, the take-off and landing of the East Anglian Air Ambulance would be unaffected.

This is because services use two different types of aircraft, with the air ambulance able to take-off from a standing start.

However, a trial flight of the search and rescue helicopter using a proposed alternative route raised concerns over possible impact of down wash on the existing hospital car park.

Since the June meeting, officers say no further details of other alternative flight paths have been received.

Officers have therefore recommended that a deadline be set to guarantee that a final decision is made on the application by the August committee meeting - should this not be reached at the meeting today. The application already has outline planning permission, with just reserved matters to be resolved.

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