The outline proposal was a response to difficulties experienced by patients and visitors in finding parking space. A survey by the hospital showed that a quarter of the 2,000-plus patients arriving daily by car had been unable to find a space. The hospital proposed to redevelop an existing car park and other buildings to create a transport hub providing cycle parking, bus drop-off facilities and 820 short-stay parking spaces, a net increase of 629 spaces.
Looking at the evidence on parking need, the inspector noted that the appellants had not included information or assumptions about length of stay or turnover rates in their transport assessment. Referring to a 2015 Department of Health technical memo on NHS car parking management, she assumed an average length of stay of two to three hours. Applying a turnover rate of three cars per space per day would reduce the number needed to fewer than 400 spaces, she calculated.
The inspector concluded that provision of more parking than had been shown to be required would be contrary to core strategy policy prioritising non-car means of travel in order to reduce congestion and the sustainable travel objectives of national policy. In dismissing the appeal, she also voiced doubts on traffic impacts, highway safety, air quality and harm to the significance of designated and non-designated heritage assets arising from the proposal.
Inspector: Helen Hockenhull; Hearing