Hospital car park proves stumbling block

DEVELOPMENT of a multi-million pound health centre at Ipswich Hospital has hit a hurdle over issues with car-parking.At a meeting yesterday , planners at Ipswich Borough Council approved proposals for the £26m Garrett Anderson Centre itself but have delayed making a decision on changes to the car parks.

DEVELOPMENT of a multi-million pound health centre at Ipswich Hospital has hit a hurdle over issues with car-parking.

At a meeting yesterday , planners at Ipswich Borough Council approved proposals for the £26m Garrett Anderson Centre itself but have delayed making a decision on changes to the car parks.

The new centre will contain a new A&E department, critical care unit, a day surgery suite and beds dedicated to planned care but, because it is being built on the site of some of the hospital's existing car park, alternative parking arrangements are also needed.

Christine Smart, chairman of the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, said: "This is excellent news and we are all looking forward to the start of the building work in the autumn.

"The new Garrett Anderson Centre will transform health care for local people when it is ready in 2007."

A separate application for a 465-space multi-storey car park at Pearson Road was also considered at yesterday's meeting but councillors decided they could not make a decision until they have carried out a site visit.

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The site is currently home to an existing staff car park but plans for a multi-storey have met with some opposition, particularly from staff and visitors to the St Elizabeth Hospice on Foxhall Road.

The Pearson Road site neighbours the hospice and concerns have been raised about over-shadowing, noise and the design of the car park.

Councillors are expected to visit the site within the few weeks and make a decision at a meeting of the planning and development committee on June 22 or July 13.

What do you think of the proposals? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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