KGH hope to retain off-site car park permanently

It has space for more than 200 vehicles

By Sam Wildman
Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 7:00 am
The Trafalgar Road car park.
The Trafalgar Road car park.

Kettering General Hospital bosses hope to keep an off-site car park on a permanent basis.

The Trafalgar Road site, used by hospital staff, has been granted temporary planning permission to be used as a car park on a number of occasions since it was first issued in 2005.

The last temporary approval given to the site, which has space for 232 cars and has secure fencing and barriers, came in November 2019 and runs out in 2022.

Many staff park there and walk up to the Rothwell Road site and now KGH has applied for permission to retain the car park on a permanent basis.

A planning statement submitted to North Northamptonshire Council said: "Securing full planning permission for the use of the car park (compared to securing temporary permissions) provides more certainty and comfort for the trust in respect of the ongoing use of the site for vitally important car parking provision, particularly having regard to the significant redevelopment proposals for Kettering General Hospital over the next few years.

"The car park remains an important component part of the trust’s parking strategy and securing this full permission will remove planning concerns relating to the future in terms of having to secure temporary planning consents."

Parking issues for KGH staff have been well-documented over the years, with one nurse speaking out in 2018 to say she was considering quitting because she was not able to park at the hospital. At the time she had taken the hit of two parking tickets costing almost £200 to ensure she’s at work on time.

Last year two NHS heroes returned to their vehicles in the Trafalgar Road car park after a shift in the first Covid-19 wave to find their cars had been targeted by catalytic converter thieves.

The hospital has set out its vision to rebuild its ageing estate on the current Rothwell Road site and plans say retaining the Trafalgar Road car park is an 'important component' of its strategy.

A planning statement said: "The need to ensure that the Trafalgar Road site is retained as a car park for the trust is an important component part of the trust’s broad strategy to address the redevelopment strategy for the Kettering General Hospital site over the coming years.

"The existing car park site at Trafalgar Road is located off-site from the main hospital in an accessible location having regard to the distance between both sites and the pedestrian routes involved. Used as a staff car park, it is well-used and well-managed."

A decision on the bid to retain the car park permanently could be made by July 30.