PARKING could finally be extended at Chorley’s busy hospital.
Representatives from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, which runs Chorley and South Ribble District Hospital, are set to meet with Chorley Council next month to explore car parking options.
It comes after years of campaigning over the lack of parking at the Euxton Lane site and complaints from patients, visitors and neighbouring residents.
However, the LEP has learnt that one site which could be considered is the ‘pony field’ in front of Derian House.
Coun Mark Perks, who represents the area, said: “It is wonderful news that something is finally being considered to tackle the parking problems at Chorley hospital.
“It has long been a bone of contention for visitors and residents – with many motorists parking on the streets surrounding the hospital and in the Euxton Lane lay-by.
“It’s become a real problem over the years and it is clear something needs to be done.
“However, I hope that the rumour about using the playing field is just that, a rumour.
“The field is used by Astley and Buckshaw Juniors FC and has been used for the Derian House fun day in the past.
“Playing fields are a premium and I’d hate to see another of our green spaces lost for car parking.”
A park and ride scheme for staff had been one suggestion put forward in 2008 when cars would regularly be seen queuing to get on the hospital car park.
It was set to create an additional 60 parking spaces.
Coun Perks added: “I am sure that there is plenty of space within the hospital grounds to work with.
“I’d hope that the officers would consult with residents and ward councillors before any potential sites are discussed.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals said the plans were still at a very early stage.
They added: “At the moment all we can say is that we’re meeting with Chorley Council in April to explore potential car parking options.”
The meeting comes as W Marsden and Sons submitted a new planning application to convert the former Northolme Private Nursing Home site into an apartment building consisting of 28 one-and two-bedroom apartments.
The land is currently leased to the hospital for additional parking.
Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “We have been contacted by the hospital trust about their parking issues at Chorley hospital so we are going to work with them to look at how we can help them to resolve the problems they have. However, it’s very early days yet.”