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Planning approved for West Suffolk Hospital to be rebuilt on Hardwick Manor site

The outline planning application for the new West Suffolk Hospital was approved by the West Suffolk Council Planning Committee on 30 November.  

The proposals will now be subject to the signing of a ‘Section 106 legal Agreement’ to secure appropriate planning obligations. Detailed design applications (known as Reserved Matters applications) will then be prepared and will need to be submitted and approved by the Local Planning Authority before development can commence on site. As the Local Planning Authority receives these, consultation with the wider community and consultees will be undertaken in the usual way. 

Craig Black, interim chief executive said: “This is an exciting milestone taking us even closer towards building a much-needed new hospital for West Suffolk. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work by our staff, as well as valuable input from local people in developing the plans.” 

Gary Norgate, programme director added: “The approval means that we are one step closer to making the Hardwick Manor site our new home and the local community’s new hospital for generations to come, where future children and grandchildren will be born, mothers and fathers will be treated, and our workforce of the future will aspire to work. The approval of the outline planning application means that we are closer than ever to making this a reality.”

The Trust is currently preparing an outline business case and, as part of the government’s New Hospital Programme, working closely with national colleagues to ensure designs and activities take full advantage of the centralised programmatic approach. The approval of the planning application means that, subject to business case approval, the new hospital is on target to be completed before the end of the decade, which is a testament to the hard work of the team and the vital input provided by the local community. 

Natalie Forrest, Senior Responsible Owner for the New Hospital Programme said:  "This is a key milestone for West Suffolk Hospital, which means they are on track to deliver transformational healthcare for the local community, and I would like to congratulate the Trust on reaching this point. Significant work went into submitting plans that balance the acute need for new facilities with value for money and a sustainable approach. They now have an opportunity to realise the innovation that sits at the heart of our programme by designing a hospital that ensures this hospital is fit for the future.”   

Jo Churchill, Member of Parliament for Bury St Edmunds said: “I am really pleased that the collaborative work between all parties to deliver 21st-century healthcare in a new hospital is well underway. I look forward to seeing the first spade in the ground and building work starting to deliver this hospital for the people in and around Bury St Edmunds.” 

Future opportunities to be involved in the design of the new hospital will be shared in the new year. In the meantime, to register your interest please visit and join the community engagement group.  

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