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Monday, April 19, 2021

Expansion plans at Leighton — but users fear loss of parking

Leighton Hospital’s emergency department could soon expand by more than 4,000sqm.

Health chiefs have submitted a planning application to add a two-storey modular extension to the site’s accident and emergency department, which will be installed in the car park writes local democracy reporter Ethan Davies.

The modular building will contain space for resuscitation, mental health assessment and paediatric suites, and CT and X-ray services, as well as a new bereavement suite, and administration facilities on the first floor.

In a statement to planners, agents Day Architectural said: “Architecturally, the proposal for the expansion is a modular response to the existing department, working closely with Premier Modular to deliver an efficient, cost and time-effective solution to the existing site through extensive contextual research in order to achieve a contemporary solution appropriate to the surrounding environment.

“Through a modular approach, the extension’s internal floor layouts are both efficient and considered with a sense of inward privacy appropriate to its internal usage, yet external views are maximised from the first floor office and staff areas, forming a clear rationale for exterior window treatment and articulation.”

As part of the £9m project, the emergency department’s 150-space car park will be closed in phases, with it being completely sealed off by 15th February.

That leaves the main and maternity unit car parks as the largest sites open for patients, with the latter able to be expanded using moveable water-filled barriers.

The loss of parking has already provoked objections, one letter asking: “Where are people supposed to park? The car parking is already totally insufficient, and this development removes the largest public access car park on site. Where are people who have got themselves to A&E supposed to park? What is a parent who’s taking their child to A&E to do? Leave their child in distress with strangers while they drive to Nantwich to park? This has to be refused.”

Another letter commented: “Parking is normally really bad at hospitals (Royal Stoke). I really hope Leighton Hospital will not go down this route and not make enough parking spaces.”

The Cheshire East reference number is 21/0147N; the last date for submitting comments is 17th February, and the decision target date 13th April.

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