Visitors, patients and staff are to benefit from 200 new car parking spaces at Northampton General Hospital.
Hospital bosses have exclusively revealed to the Chron that a one-storey structure will be laid on top of current spaces in car park 1, which is in the south-east corner near the out-of-hours GP centre.
It will provide 300 car parking spaces, which staff and patients have been demanding for several years after regular 15-minute queues by staff looking for spaces.
Although NGH also intends to give up about 100 spaces leased to it by Northampton Borough Council at Midsummer Meadow, the overall increase will still be about 200 spaces.
Charles Abolins, the hospital’s director of facilities, said: “We are still talking to Northampton Borough Council about the preliminary stages of planning consent, but any day now we hope to get an answer and then we’ll put in a full application.
“We know that we are at capacity for patients’ cars at peak times
“It should be a good news story for both hospital staff and patients.”
The structure will be similar to that erected at the main car park at Northampton railway station.
Described by Mr Abolins as ‘like a giant meccano set”, it will cost £1.4 million to buy, with the cost spread over several years.
With a 25-year life, the structure could be dismantled and re-erected elsewhere on the site as plans to expand the hospital site, revealed by the Chron last week, progress.
It is understood that half the 200 extra spaces will be for staff and half will be for visitors and patients.
NGH bosses would like the new spaces to be in use by July this year, with the construction process taking four months, but that depends on the progress of the planning application.
In the meantime, NGH is expected to lease more spaces from Northampton Borough Council in its town centre car parks.
One of the likely options would be St Michael’s car park in The Mounts, which is about the same distance to the NGH site as Midsummer Meadow.