COUNCIL chiefs are pushing through controversial new parking permit plans for those living near Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Plans have long been mooted to help ease the “torment” faced by those living near the site as hospital staff and visitors use streets nearby to park and avoid charges.
But following the implementation of a pilot called Parking Management Scheme, new restrictions will be in place at the start of next year after public notices were published by Sunderland City Council.
The permits are free to residents who register their cars, with each further vehicle costing an additional £20.
However, business owners in the area say trade will be affected once restrictions such as double yellow lines are brought in.
The restrictions are lifted at certain times to offer more areas for visitors to park in. The hospital is in the process of creating a multi-storey car park at the Kayll Road end of the site.
Some residents living nearby have expressed concerns over lighting, although contractors say a stepped roof will limit overshadowing. Susan Adamson, chairman of the Barnes, Pallion and Millfield Residents’ Association, said: “We have worked with the council over this and hopefully once the multi-storey car park is built, it will alleviate problems even further.
“The feedback we have had from residents has been very, very good because they have had years of torment and they are getting their streets back.
“Some people are parking further away, so people living in those streets have never experienced this before and if that became a problem, we would look at extending the scheme further.”
Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said: “The public notices are the last stage in the statutory consultation for Hospital Parking Management Scheme Phase Two (PMS2) which has been in place since September.
“The notices refer to the Order which will introduce charges for the permits and contains details about their use.
“The charging element of the Order was put back so that new permits could be issued free until December 31. This was to bring Phase Two permits in line with Phase One of the Hospital Parking Management Scheme, which runs from January 1 to December 31.
“People have the opportunity to comment on the proposed Order detailed in the public notice, which would introduce charges for residents’ parking permits from December 31.”