Full planning permission for a second multi-storey car park on Stevenage's Lister Hospital site is being sought, as part of plans that also include "more retail opportunities and office accommodation" at the front of the site.

In a staff briefing on Monday, Adam Sewell-Jones, the chief executive of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister Hospital, talked about plans to build a two-storey car park on the Lister site.

He admitted: "The reality is that we have more demand for parking than we have available, and that is a problem we are struggling to solve."

The long-term solution that "we're currently working on, and the board is now reviewing a case for, is remodelling the front of the hospital," he said.

The plan is to create "some more space out the front of the current main entrance that would include more retail opportunities and some more office accommodation, which is another challenge on the second floor," he explained.

"As part of that, we will be looking to build what's looking like a two-storey car park, that will significantly increase the amount of parking on the Lister site - that really should move us to a position where we are better able to meet the demand for that facility from staff.

"Now, it doesn't happen overnight, because it's a new build. However, I was pleased with the potential speed. We've already had, in principle, planning permission for that work.

"We’ve now kicked off the process of asking for the formal permission, and we are looking now at the commercial arrangements, in order to bring someone in to build that car park for us.

"So, hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, we’ll have a significant shift in the parking provision on the site."

In the short-term, Mr Sewell-Jones said potholes have been repaired at the Stevenage Garden Centre car park off Graveley Road - space the NHS Trust rents from the garden centre to provide additional parking for Lister staff. "Clearly, the risk is, at any point, they could decide to change their minds or sell the property, so it's not a long-term strategy," he said.