PLANNING permission has been granted to try and cure Raigmore Hospital’s parking problems.
The changes will create three overspill car parks with 400 parking spaces between them, 250 of which will be new.
The move will formalise an existing overflow car park next to the hospital’s maternity centre and turn another two open-ground areas into new overspill sites.
Currently the hospital has 900 spaces outside the hospital and 200 for overflow and staff accommodation.
Petitions with more than 1000 signatures have previously been presented to NHS Highland calling for action over parking.
Funds for the car park additions were earmarked in the NHS Capital Fund in March.
The planning application received one objection from a local resident who said: "Building cannot continue to spread. I am astounded by the lack of planning and common sense."
She had called for a multi-storey car park and pay and display machines instead. But ward councillor Ian Brown welcomed the granting of planning permission for the additional spaces.
"I am all for it," he said.
"Parking is a huge issue in the area and this will certainly help. From my point of view, I certainly welcome the change."
The new spaces will be available for patient, staff and visitors when other areas are full.