Disused sexual health centre to be bulldozed to create more parking at Sunderland Royal Hospital
A hospital building formerly used for sexual health services is set to be demolished and replaced with nearly 40 parking spaces.
In January 2020, plans were lodged for a building on the Sunderland Royal Hospital site off Chester Road.
For many years, the hub housed Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) services which include the screening, diagnosis and management of sexually transmitted infections.
However, the building has been vacant since December 2019 after staff moved to a new site within the hospital estate.
Under new plans, health bosses aim to demolish the building to make way for 37 extra car parking spaces.
If approved, the plans would increase the number of on-site parking bays from 160 to 197.
A planning application, submitted to Sunderland City Council, adds staff vacated the building on December 14, 2019.
The report reads: “The GUM building has now become vacant, staff have now moved into their new premises in Chester Lodge on the Sunderland Royal site.
“GUM involves the investigation and management of sexually transmitted infections and HIV. It is mostly outpatient based but does include inpatient care of HIV infection.
“It also includes more specialised services such as young people’s clinics, genital dermatoses, sexual dysfunction and psychosexual medicine and outreach services for sex workers and drug users.”
South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust’s Director of Planning and Business Development, Peter Sutton, welcomed the planning application.
“The GUM building at Sunderland Royal Hospital site is now no longer required as our sexual health services have relocated to new, improved facilities on the hospital site,” he said.
“We clearly recognise the current pressures on car parking and the demolition of the building will give us the opportunity to provide extra parking spaces in the future.”
A decision on the plans is expected by the end of March following a period of council consultation.
Comments can be made by writing to the council.
For more information, visit www.sunderland.gov.uk/online-applications and search planning ref: 20/00125/FUL
Hospital parking has been a hot topic nationally in recent years, with a shortage of spaces and the costs charged to patients and visitors often raised as concerns.