PLANS to ease the parking nightmare at Frimley Park Hospital have sparked protests from nearby residents.

They say a proposal to build a single deck car park at the front of the site will be an eyesore and could hit property prices.

The 14 objectors say the car park, which would be just over 12ft high, should be built behind the Sea Cadets' building.

But that idea has been dismissed by agents acting for Frimley Park Hospital NHS Trust who said it was the least cost effective of four possible sites.

They also told Surrey Heath Council planners that the land had been reserved for future access requirements.

The proposed landscaped car park would provide 501 spaces for staff cars - almost double the current number. Room is also being made nearby for a 100-space public car park.

Outlining the need for the new car park, the trust's agents said in a report that 2,600 staff work at the 700-bed hospital, plus another 260 personnel at the Ministry of Defence unit.

It is also expected that a further 200 staff will be employed at the hospital over the next two years, putting further pressure on parking space.

Their report added that it was essential to ensure that "congestion within the site does not continue to escalate to a dangerous level."

There was a possibility, it said, that at some stage emergency vehicles would be unable to gain fast and immediate access to the hospital's entrances.

"By introducing this new parking facility, staff, patients and visitors will be able to clear the access road quickly," the report added.

The council's development control committee was due to consider the application as the Star went to press.