PLANS to expand a hospital car park have been met with praise with hopes it will alleviate onstreet parking problems around the facility.

A planning application has been submitted by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust to expand the parking facilities at Parklands Hospital in Aldermaston Road.

If approved, the plans will see alterations to the existing car park to provide 27 additional spaces as well as four new disabled parking bays with alterations to existing lighting and CCTV.

The plans have been praised by Rooksdown ward councillor Simon Bound who has long campaigned for additional parking at Basingstoke and Parklands hospitals to relieve the impact of overspill on-street parking in Rooksdown.

This plan, tied with Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust proposals to build a single-storey extension to Basingstoke hospital to allow an additional ambulatory care unit and a GP streaming facility, has been welcomed by Cllr Bound.

He said: “I have long been a campaigner for increased car parking provision on the hospital campus and Rooksdown roads. I warmly welcome this application by Parklands Hospital to increase their car park by an additional 31 spaces, including four new disabled spaces.

“I am hopeful that North Hampshire Hospital will follow Parklands lead when the longterm future of their site becomes clear. With both hospitals working together I am sure additional car parking spaces can be created that will benefit patients, staff and visitors.”

A planning statement for the Basingstoke hospital extension read: “The extension to this site would largely enhance the functionality of the hospital without being seen as a prominent extension.

This development optimises wasted space within the hospital and enhances the internal environment.”

Cllr Bound said that reintroducing a GP service to the hospital would help reduce the increasing pressure put on staff at the hospital’s emergency department.

He added: “It is now several years since the initial walk in GP centre was removed with a promise of it being replaced by services within the hospital doors to assist in meeting the challenging four hour waiting standard.”

To view and comment on the plan, go to planning.basingstoke.