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summer 2022



net gain in biodiversity improvements


parking bays

Prime’s multi-storey car park for Dorset County Hospital

Creating much needed car parking facilities as the first phase of wider hospital development plans

Willmott Dixon has kicked off 2021 with a new project for Dorset County Hospital (DCH).

To be built over an eighteen-month period and appointed by leading health and care property developer Prime, its team in the South has been contracted to build a new highly anticipated multi-storey car park.

The building is the first phase of the development of the Dorset County Hospital site to free up land for expanding the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit, as well as establishing an Integrated Care Hub as part of a long-term project to deliver the recommendations of Dorset’s Clinical Services Review.

Providing vital parking space for patients, visitors, and staff, the car park will include 654 parking bays across seven floors, including up to 68 EV charge points. There will be a new pay on exit parking management system, a dedicated disabled parking area and spaces for motorcycles. The works also include providing cycle access and improving access by widening the roads on the hospital estate.

>10% biodiversity net gain

Forming a key part of our Now or Never 2030 Sustainability Strategy, biodiversity net gain is an approach that aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than beforehand. Enhancing biodiversity is a key driver within the project and the project will deliver a biodiversity net gain of at least 10%.

As part of the temporary car park construction, the project will incorporate a 2m wide 'wildlife corridor' around the perimeter of the car park. This corridor will be planted with hedgerows and wildflowers, allowing a safe buffer zone between vehicles' movement in the car park and any wildlife movement nearby.

In addition to the 'wildlife corridor,' we will install bird boxes on existing trees, hedgehog nesting boxes, and the placement of a log pile to provide a habitat for insects and other wildlife.

Dorset County Hospital's deputy chief executive Nick Johnson said:

"We are delighted to be able to get the building work underway in early 2021, marking the start of a hugely significant and exciting period in DCH's history. We would like to thank everyone who supported our planning application for the multi-storey as this scheme is the key to unlocking the future expansion of clinical services."
“Our existing Emergency Department and ICU were not built to accommodate the volume of patients we are seeing now. Our clinical teams have responded magnificently to the additional challenges coronavirus has brought, but it is now clearer than ever that we must create additional space and facilities to ensure the safety of our patients. The development of these facilities is vital to make sure we are able to continue to meet the ever-increasing demand on our services and secure the future of Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester for a generation to come.”

Guy Kippen, Development Manager, Prime, said:

“We’re thrilled to be commencing this project – the first to be launched under Prime’s Joint Venture Partnership with Dorset County Hospital.
“In getting the project to this stage, we have seen and experienced first-hand the existing issues and problems faced every day by hospital patients, visitors and staff in accessing and parking at the hospital. Whilst this project is a first for Prime in many aspects, it is significant as it unlocks many opportunities for the Trust through our partnership and its masterplan.
“This project will consolidate existing parking areas and latent demand into one location, simplifying vehicle routes and improving parking and wayfinding within the hospital site. In addition to these improvements, the project will deliver a 10% net gain in biodiversity improvements.”

Richard Poulter, managing director for Willmott Dixon’s Central South region, said:

"If coronavirus has taught us anything, it is the importance of our NHS and the infrastructure within which it can operate. The new car park will support the hospital in providing its critical service to the local community. We are proud to be working, through Prime, with the hospital to deliver their day to day services and long-term aspirations.”


  • Parking for patients, visitors and staff
  • 654 parking bays across seven floors, including up to 68 EV charge points
  • The works also include providing cycle access and improving access by widening the roads on the hospital estate
  • The project will deliver a biodiversity net gain of more than 10%




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