Jan 30, 2018

Christchurch Hospital to get parking building by the end of 2020


Visitors to the South Island's largest health facility must wait another two years for a hospital car parking building. 

A multi-storey car parking building for Christchurch Hospital will be built by the end of 2020, Ministry of Health critical projects director Michael Hundleby said.

"The Hospital Redevelopment Partnership Group (HRPG) is on schedule with its plans to begin design and procurement for a car park to replace the blue carpark building at the end of this year, commence construction at the end of 2019 and complete at the end of 2020.

Canterbury District Health Board chief executive David Meates said work on a masterplan for Christchurch Hospital would help determine the best site for a parking building.

No formal decision had been made on the car park location, but the HRPG was "working on the assumption" it would be built on St Asaph St, between Hagley Ave and Antigua St, Hundleby said. 

"Canterbury DHB has queried whether this location could be better used for other hospital purposes."

The car parking building could not be completed until the end of 2020 because of site preparation work. A new energy centre needed to be constructed and the old boiler house on the same block demolished to provide space for the new car park and this "takes time", he said. 

The number of spaces would be decided when "most of the construction is largely complete". Another traffic study would be commissioned at that time.

A report on parking needs in April recommended not building a multi-storey car park until the demand was determined. 

"Uncertainty about the parking demand at alternate permanent parking supply options such as the Metro Sports site means that it is inappropriate to replace the blue parking building now." 

Hundleby said in February last year a priority for the HRPG was to work with the CDHB, Christchurch City Council and Crown company Ōtākaro to "determine what supply and demand will be ... with other developments, like Metro Sports, under way".  

He declined to say what consultation had taken place since. 

A report on options for the Metro Sports Centre has been ordered by earthquake recovery minister Megan Woods.

CDHB chief executive David Meates said the whole area around the hospital, outpatients clinic and health precinct needed a "joined up" parking strategy.

"Parking options need to reflect the 24-hour requirements of New Zealand's second largest tertiary hospital including the need for safe staff access to their place of work particularly during afternoon and night shifts."

Previous assessments found a need for two car parking facilities with 700 spaces each, Meates said. 

In the meantime, staff and the public could use a large privately-owned car park in Deans Ave for $5 a day with a free shuttle service to the hospital.

A range of short-term parking options in the vicinity of the hospital were leased for staff parking, Meates said. 

CDHB member Aaron Keown said he was surprised by the HRPG's commitment to build a car parking building, but welcomed the news. 

He said the St Asaph St site was the most logical place for it. 

"My only question is what will be the cost of parking for people using the hospital and my fear is it could be quite expensive."

Board member Anna Crighton said she had not been informed the HRPG would fund a car parking building to be built by 2020, but a facility was essential. 

"When I think of the site we are on and what's around it, it's an absolute nightmare for parking."