Sandwell and City Hospital Multi-Storey Car Parks
Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust
Progressing vital schemes amid a global crisis
With plans already in motion to expand car park capacity at two Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust’s hospital sites, Prime’s experience of achieving success through adversity ensured the global COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stand in the way of project progress.
Like many land-locked healthcare facilities, on-site parking capacity couldn’t keep pace with demand at Sandwell General Hospital and City Hospital — two busy healthcare facilities providing general and specialist services to West Bromwich and Birmingham communities. With the creation of the new Midland Metropolitan Hospital, due to open in Smethwick in 2022, both sites are being transformed through redevelopment to ensure the provision of healthcare services well into the future. The Trust’s transition of selected services from Sandwell General and City hospitals into the new facility has enabled them to address redevelopment plans for both estates; a critical starting point being the challenges of parking on both sites.
To unlock the potential of the sites and deliver transformative changes to the estate, the Trust appointed Prime as their development partner. Prime’s ability to successfully engage stakeholders would be critical to project progression. With both hospital sites bordering residential streets, on-street parking and congestion had historically hampered relationships with the community. In addition, Prime needed to find solutions that offered the ultimate flexibility for future site development through the creation of space.
To maximise the space within the densely constructed sites, Prime devised multi-storey car park schemes in collaboration with design specialists One, civil and highways engineers Hydrock and specialist car parking design consultancy Stripe Consulting. Utilising our extensive experience of estate management, we focused on constructing more efficient parking layouts and improved flow of traffic across both sites.
At the City Hospital site, the creation of a six-storey multi-storey car park (MSCP) on an existing surface car park offers 550 car park spaces. The site has plans for mixed-use redevelopment once allocated services have moved to the new Midland Metropolitan Hospital. By moving cars from the main part of the hospital to the edge of the site and closer to access roads, space has been freed up to offer maximum flexibility for future redevelopment. Prime also identified an unused hospital building, suitable for demolition on which a temporary car park could be built during the construction phase to ensure there is minimal disruption to the patient, visitor and staff experience.
At Sandwell General Hospital, the creation of a 400-space four-storey MSCP helped to meet the needs of patients and staff using a newly constructed health centre on the site. Prime worked closely with stakeholders throughout the planning process to understand the concerns from local residents about development on the site. Taking their views into consideration, Prime proposed demolition of an underused accommodation block on the site to ensure that the boundary of the new car park could be as far away from residential streets as possible, with a sympathetic design that minimises light spill and noise for those living close by.
To keep the project on-track, Prime took advantage of the virtual approach adopted by Council planners in response to the pandemic, and maintained momentum in the development of two transformative and much-needed hospital car park facilities. Prime continued to make critical decisions to progress the projects amid changing landscapes. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic creating huge economic and social uncertainty and challenges to traditional working practices, Prime’s unrivalled experience of maintaining momentum ensured these vital schemes achieved planning approval. This project also provided a major milestone for Prime, brining two projects to practical completion on the same day.