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How and why did we choose the preferred site?

To progress plans, we have been working closely with a dedicated team of partners to identify, assess and select a site upon which to build our new hospital.  

This is a hugely important decision, an extensive process has been undertaken by our team of specialists from technical disciplines including planning, architecture, transport and ecology to name a few.

More than 20 potential sites were initially identified and from this ‘long list’ four were found to best support the needs and ambitions of the project. These were; the redevelopment of the current hospital at Hardwick Lane, Rougham Airfield, Westley and Hardwick Manor.

Using a thorough and objective evaluation process each of these four sites were rated. This included a technical assessment which looked at elements focussed on the ability of each site to support the delivery of a new hospital We then sought views and feedback from public, staff and patient representatives, on non-technical areas such as ease of accessing the sites and the impact each would have upon our environment.

As the project has progressed, the importance of natural surroundings in which to be treated and work has become apparent and is a further consideration. Existing research has shown the positive benefits that being able to enjoy dedicated outside spaces can have on patient and staff wellbeing.  We want the new hospital to be a place where staff enjoy coming to work and which supports our patient’s recovery.  

The main differentiating factors between the shortlisted sites were:

  • The risk associated with being able to buy the land and the relative complexity of the construction process
  • The cost of the overall project
  • The impact that a site might have on patient and staff wellbeing  

To see a full list of the 20 sites please click here

To view information on each shortlisted site, please select a location below: 


Following thorough and extensive evaluation, Hardwick Manor was proposed as the most suitable location and in December 2020, we announced it as our preferred site.

Although, we have announced Hardwick Manor as our preferred site, this will not become final until we have carried out all our investigations and obtained planning permission. Our investigations are looking into the impact that any building will have upon the ecology, landscape and archaeology of the site and will take place over a number of months to make sure we have a full picture. To ensure we understand and consider the impact that a new hospital will have on roads, traffic flows and parking our team are engaged with the local Highway Authority and will be working with Highways England.

This is an exciting opportunity and your views are important to us. That’s why, whilst technical work is progressing to assess the site further, we will continue to work with our local community to ensure we capture as many opinions on the decision as possible. Ultimately, we want to get this decision right for you - our patients and staff.