Parking tonic hope for Sheffield hospital

News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.
News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

PROPOSALS for a £40m wing for Sheffield Children’s Hospital are in line for council approval next week, raising hopes of easing traffic and parking congestion as well as radically creating a ‘world-class’ environment.

Health trust managers look like being given the all-clear to press ahead with a three and four-storey extension, including a new ward block with 72 en-suite bedrooms.

Council officers are praising a “sensitive” design that fits in with the historic buildings that will remain.

They also believe that the redevelopment will help ease some of the traffic and parking problems that have plagued the hospital for years.

A basement car park is due to replace existing surface-level parking spaces, with a new access off Clarkson Street that will be signed ‘left in’ and ‘left out’.

At present, the main entrance to the hospital is off the side street, Durham Road, which leads to “a chaotic situation” with vehicles manoeuvring to reach a drop off point, the car park and hospital servicing areas, says a council report.

Proposed changes will improve visibility for drivers, prevent blockages and improve road safety, it is claimed.

Because medical facilities are being modernised rather than expanded, no extra traffic is envisaged

In the longer term, the University of Sheffield is preparing a scheme for a multi-storey car park to replace the car park on the opposite side of Clarkson Street, which could be also used by visitors to the Children’s Hospital.

Councillors are expected on Monday to approve the details of the whole hospital revamp, which has been designed by architectural company Avanti, which won a design competition.

The extension will front on to Clarkson Street, creating a new a new main entrance, a new outpatients’ department, and a garden for patients and visitors above the car park. There will be a circular play tower from floor to ceiling in the main reception.

The council report says the scheme is “a very well thought through contemporary addition” to the hospital, which has seen piecemeal and unco-ordinated development for many years. Changes are being made “with minimal harm to the neighbouring conservation area”.

A £10m community appeal aims to help pay for the new wing. The remaining £30m is due to come from government and private sources.