New staff accommodation and extra parking are among a raft of ‘interim’ measures planned for West Suffolk Hospital as it continues work to decide whether it should move sites.
The hospital seeks to replace ‘substandard’ residences which ‘require significant backlog repairs’ to keep them in line with NHS requirements and create about 30 parking spaces.
They are part of an ‘interim strategy’ for its current base while bosses conduct a study to determine whether it should remain at Hardwick Lane or move to a site in Westley.
The hospital has asked St Edmundsbury Borough Council to waive planning policy restrictions so it can obtain outline planning permission for the accommodation by December as a solution on the matter ‘needs to be agreed urgently’.
Writing to the council on behalf of the hospital trust, Tim Harbord, of planning and development consultancy Tim Harbord Associates, said: “There are certain pressing issues and projects in development that cannot be deferred pending the outcome of a masterplanning exercise (to decide if the hospital should move), to which end the Trust is evolving an interim strategy that ensures a future hospital at Hardwick Lane would not be compromised.”
The 30 extra parking places, which would be at the back of the site, would be a temporary measure and a more permanent solution could be decked parking infront of the hospital should it remain at its current site.
The sterile services department would also relocate from the Hospital Road site to the main hospital and a cardiac catheterisation laboratory would be built.
A hospital spokesman said they are considering potential sites for the replacement staff accommodation within the hospital grounds.
She added: “It has always been our intention to work in partnership with a housing provider to deliver the project so that the capital cost of the building work does not come from the NHS.”
Craig Black, executive director of resources at the hospital, said in addition to the extra spaces, other parking measures include changing visiting times to spread out demand and installing automatic number plate recognition barriers to help manage the spaces at the back of the site.