Scarborough Hospital’s car park could be expanded to include an additional 260 spaces - if permission is granted by council planning officials.
The overcrowded car park has been causing headaches for patients, visitors and staff for a number of years.
But hospital bosses have now confirmed they are at the pre-planning stage and will be submitting a formal planning application to Scarborough Council this month.
If permission is granted, a new one-level car park will be built on the field to the rear of the main car park in Woodlands Drive, with work starting as soon as April.
A spokeswoman said: “We hope this project will improve the patient experience by taking the parking-related stress out of coming to hospital.
“We will also be a re-zoning the car parks so that some car parking is identified solely for patients and visitors and some for the use of staff only.”
Scarborough Hospital currently has 649 car parking spaces with 22 spaces for disabled drivers.
Patient spokesman Leo McGrory, of Scarborough Local Involvement Network (LINK), said: “This is a major step forward and I’m sure it will be welcomed wholeheartedly by patients, staff and visitors.
“We’ve been challenging this issue for nearly four years, so this is a light at the end of the tunnel.
“It will make a big difference to people and help restore people’s faith in the hospital and the health trust.”
Mr McGrory added that he hoped that if the changes were to lead to any increase in parking charges, that patient groups and members of the public would be consulted first.
He also called on the hospital to better publicise the parking passes which are available for those visiting patients who need to have a more lengthy stay in hospital.