PLANS to prevent the parking mayhem in Purley predicted once the hospital reopens have stagnated, according to community leaders.
Tarsem Flora, chairman of the Purley and Woodcote Residents Association, has spent many months drawing up alternative proposals for sites suitable as extra parking spaces in the town.
The three options – using space at the Purley Resource Centre, developing the green space behind the hospital or reserving spaces at the public multi-storey car park in the town centre – have received little encouragement from either the council or the NHS. Now Mr Flora has suggested the derelict Sainsbury's site, in High Street, could be used as a temporary solution.
"No one has done anything with the site for years. Sainsbury's left and some developers put plans in last year but nothing has happened," he said.
"It is big enough to act as a car park when the hospital opens while we wait for a long-term solution."
However, a spokesman for Croydon Council, which owns the freehold of the site, said: "The leaseholder is a company called Polaska Assets, with which the council is in discussion with a view to bringing the former supermarket back into useful life."
They denied that Purley would have any problems with the estimated 3,000 weekly hospital visitors, who will only be provided with 40 parking spaces.
"When refurbishment works are completed, the hospital itself will be able to provide a limited degree of parking," the spokesman said.
"In addition to that, parking in Purley is amply provided, both in on-street bays and the multi-storey car park, which has in excess of 400 spaces and is rarely full, meaning visitors to the hospital would usually be able to find a space."
A spokesman for Croydon Health Services NHS Trust also denied that progress in finding a parking solution had stagnated.
"We are continuing to listen to residents and local partners as the development at the hospital progresses to ensure we make the best use of on-site space for parking," the spokesman said.
"Our in-house estates department is also exploring available nearby options for car parking, and we will share our findings with Croydon Council and local residents to demonstrate how they complement local community parking plans."
Purley Hospital's grand reopening is due to take place in September.
The Brighton Road hospital's outpatients department is getting an £11 million makeover, which will allow for 90,000 outpatient appointments a year and mean 80 per cent of the south of the borough's healthcare needs will be dealt with by the new facility.