Posted: July 19 2016
The council, subject to Executive approval, plans to dip into funds received from local developers to pay for the work. Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT), which owns and runs services from the hospital, will oversee the improvements.
The council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Investment Panel this week recommended the Executive approve an £80,000 bid to fund the expansion of the car park. The bid, made by HCT, aims to address the severe shortage of off-street parking both for hospital staff and visitors.
The hospital is home to HCT’s local rehabilitation wards, as well as other services such as podiatry, adult and children’s speech and language, nutrition and dietetics Service, lymphoedema Service, bladder and bowel care, digital retinal screening service and heart failure service.
The Royal Free also has an x-ray unit on the site and Moorfields Eye Hospital runs eye clinics at the hospital.
The funding will enable additional parking spaces to be provided, as part of a wider reconfiguration of the existing 65-space car park, enabling parking capacity to increase by more than 40%.
CIL is a direct charge local authorities can place on new developments in their area to fund new infrastructure projects. The levy, which is based on the size and type of a new development, is then used to contribute towards new or improved infrastructure that the local community wants and needs such as road schemes, schools, park improvements or a new health centre.
Cllr Harvey Cohen, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Localism, said: "We were the first authority in Hertfordshire to set up CIL, enabling us to allocate funds to local infrastructure and service providers. This recommendation to our Executive shows the commitment to allocating monies, raised through development in Potters Bar and elsewhere in the borough, towards local schemes for the benefit of our communities.
"The panel, composed of councillors from across the borough, were well aware of the problems to both local residents and patients caused by the shortage of parking at this important and much needed community hospital. They were delighted to receive a bid that would help improve conditions for both residents and users."
Phil Bradley, Finance Director at HCT, added: "We believe this is the first time this sort of funding has been given to an NHS organisation in Hertfordshire and we are extremely pleased to be working in partnership with Hertsmere Borough Council.
"Not only will the work address the significant problem of parking on and around the site, it potentially gives us an opportunity to offer more services closer to people’s homes in Potters Bar."
Work to look at the options available to improve the car parking provision will start soon.
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