A HOSPITAL trust has applied for permission for staff to use a temporary car park.

A row broke out over car parking spaces at Colchester Hospital after it was revealed more than 100 staff car parking spaces was to be given over to patients using the new urgent treatment centre.

The centre replaced the walk-in centre at neighbouring North Colchester Healthcare Centre.

However, it created anger among staff who said their unsocial work hours meant it was impossible to get to work without driving.

Employee parking is already under strain with only about 1,000 designated places for 3,000 staff.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Colchester Hospital, said 70 spaces would be created at Mill Road surgery.

But it was then revealed the hospital did not have planning permission to use the site.

Now an application has been submitted to Colchester Council.

The planning statement says: “There is a need for temporary staff parking due to

extreme overloading of existing parking provisions at Colchester Hospital.

“This has become a serious issue now as areas previously designated for staff have been given over to visitor parking.”

Jan Ingle, deputy director of communications and engagement at the trust, said: “When the urgent treatment centre opened we invited staff to use the free Park and Ride or to park at the Mill Road site.

“That’s the reason we have put in a planning application.

“If you are changing the use of something you have to be open about it.”

The plans are temporary until January 1.

Ms Ingle said: “We will have to see how we go, we will have a look at what the other options are.”