June 19 2013 Latest news:
By Matt Gaw
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
MORE parking spaces could be created at a Suffolk hospital.
Bosses at West Suffolk Hospital have submitted plans to St Edmundsbury Borough Council for an additional 24 spaces at the Hardwick Lane site in Bury St Edmunds.
The parking will be in Car Park E - a 159-space staff car park - but councillors said the extra room could help reduce the number of workers who make use of unrestricted and free parking in streets surrounding the hospital.
According to documents put together by KLH Architects on behalf of the trust, a group of about 12 sycamores removed to make way for the extended car park.
An identical application was submitted to borough planners in 2007 but was withdrawn in February 2008 for the preparation of a badger survey and tree report.
The subsequent application was approved but work was not carried out and consent expired in September 2011.
A revisit of the badger survey this year revealed that badgers, who have four setts in surrounding woodland, were active to the west of the site but not in the car park itself.
The report states the loss of territory and foraging habitat would not adversely affect the badger population.
Sarah Stamp, St Edmundsbury councillor for Southgate, said: “I think it is definitely good news. We have been asking them to increase their capacity for some time. Parking around that area remains a big issue in this area but I think residents will be very pleased to know that there is potentially 24 less cars parked in the streets around the hospital.”
A spokeswoman for West Suffolk Hospital said confirmed the trust was looking to build 24 staff spaces behind the hospital’s Education Centre.” She added the hospital had been planning the move for some time and were waiting for funding to become available.