PATIENTS, staff and residents are having their say over a plan to build a £6million multi-storey car park at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
If the proposal is given the green light it could improve congestion problems which have blighted the lives of people living near the hospital.
Now the public is being invited along to see the plans and express their views.
Jim Robinson, head of design and project management at City Hospitals Sunderland, said: “At this moment in time we have about 1,100 spaces in the hospital so when the car park is finished we will have increased it by 437 spaces.
“That’s about a 40 per cent increase, which is massive.”
The Trust is looking to submit plans for the three or four-level building near the Kayll Road entrance, at the end of next month. If approved, building work is expected to begin in April 2013, with a predicted completion date of December 2013.
Mr Robinson added that hospital bosses are discussing with Sunderland City Council whether they can improve park and ride services for staff and visitors while the car park is being built, as a significant part of the existing parking facilities will be out of use.
However, concerns have been expressed about the development by those living and working nearby.
Muriel Tully, 72, who runs All Seasons Cafe in Kayll Road, said: “I don’t know why they wasted that money doing the other car park to then build a multi-storey soon after. They could have done it before.”
Homeowner John Henderson, 62, who has lived opposite the hospital in Kayll Road, for 23 years is furious that the development could go ahead.
“The noise is one thing,” said Mr Henderson. “But I can’t see why taxpayers’ money has gone on that car park that’s there now, then they decide to build this. It’s ridiculous.
“They should build it at the other end of the hospital because there’s plenty of room there and it’s away from the houses.”
Mr Robinson said that the opinions of residents were always taken into consideration when making planning decisions.
“We are very conscious of our neighbours and we have worked with them and the council on the issue,” he said.
“We are hoping that people will let us know their concerns so that their queries can be addressed.”
The public and hospital staff can give their feedback on the plans by going to the Education and Training Centre at the hospital and filling out a form or by emailing SRHMSCPinfo@rpsgroup.com.