You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Project chairman Pete Hodgson said yesterday parking under the main building on the former Cadbury site — a strategy favoured in a 2019 document — was now looking less likely because of geotechnical conditions.
"It’s more likely we will have to have an above-ground solution," he said.
"The issue of what form the car parks take hasn’t yet been finalised.
"It probably won’t be for quite a while."
Solutions might include development of a car parking building, making use of nearby land, or striking an agreement with a commercial partner.
The figure of 250 car parks was used in a preliminary site master plan last year, but Mr Hodgson labelled the number an "indication".
Parking details did not need to be finalised during early phases of the project.
The development was proceeding in a logical way, he said.
Some elements had been settled, such as that there would be 20 operating theatres, 30 beds in the intensive care unit and high-dependency unit and 53 beds in the emergency department.
A detailed business plan for the hospital is expected to go before the Cabinet before September’s election.
Mr Hodgson said a factor to consider was that travel and parking habits could be much different in 60 or 80 years.
Autonomous cars would likely result in a reduced need to supply parking, he said.
However, the hospital would need to ensure there was sufficient parking, and that included the future soon after its opening.
"We also have to be mindful of public transport and people biking and walking.
"An increasing number of staff may use other forms of transport as the decades go by, but there will be some need for cars and parking."
Family of patients may travel from outside the city to visit, access needed to be suitable for ambulances and arrangements had to be appropriate for shift workers.
Mr Hodgson has previously said the facility would be subject to design changes almost until its opening.
It is expected to be completed about 2028.