Bosses at Acorns Hospice in Worcester have moved to reassure neighbours concerns about the effects of a new car park at its Bath Road site.

The charity was given permission to construct a car park for staff at the hospice, which will be accessed by a currently gated entrance from Norton Close.

The application to Worcester City council had been ‘called in’ to the planning committee by Councillor Louis Stephen because of the concerns of nearby residents.

Many were worried that the Norton Close entrance could become a min access to the hospice, making traffic in the area worse, and some felt a new car park was a ’Trojan Horse’ and would lead to further development of the site.

After the planning committee members voted overwhelmingly to approve the application Acorns’ chief executive Toby Porter insisted neighbours should not be fearful.

He said: “It was obvious from the objections that people were understandably worried the application was a precursor to more broader development. I am happy to reassure residents that this is not the case, and we will operate the carpark with sensitivity to local residents’ concerns.

“There has been a longstanding need to improve the existing car parking facilities at our Bath Road children’s hospice, s and the new parking area, which repurposes existing grounds within the hospice, has been designed to relieve overcrowding of our current car park, ensuring that we continue to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our children, families, volunteers and staff.

Mr Porter added: "We recognise that our proposal has caused some anxiety among our close neighbours on Norton Close. We have been working with one of their local Councillors and met a large group of residents on Monday.

He promised to continue to work with neighbours now the proposal has been approved.