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Cambridge Children’s Hospital seeks planning permission for early designs

Cambridge Children’s Hospital took another step forward last week by submitting a planning application to Cambridge City Council for the Hospital’s early designs.

The submission of the formal ‘reserved matters’ planning application builds on the existing outline planning permission, which was granted for the site previously. The early designs and floor plans were shared with the Council’s planning committee in August.

With an estimated total footprint of around 36,000sqm, including 5000sqm of research space , the drawings are an early indication of how this innovative hospital might look when it opens in 2025. The plans also include details of possible future development for the hospital beyond 2025.

Cambridge Children's Hospital architect picture - October 2021
Architects' drawing of the front of Cambridge Children's Hospital - Hawkins/Brown and White Arkitekter

Built on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, the hospital will be the region’s first dedicated children’s hospital, caring for children and young people from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Embedding genomic and psychological research alongside clinical expertise in physical and mental child health, Cambridge Children’s Hospital will be a brand new state-of-the-art hospital designed to take care of the whole child, not just their illness. And it will pass on that knowledge to international hospitals and institutions, sharing ground-breaking research with the aim of benefiting as many young people as possible.

Meanwhile, work continues on developing the Outline Business Case, which has to be approved by HM Treasury, and on the fundraising campaign which was announced earlier in 2021. There is still much further to go before building work can begin and the vision for this much-needed facility is realised.

Andrew Tollick, Senior Programme Manager for Design and Construction, Cambridge Children’s Hospital, said: “This is a big milestone for Cambridge Children’s Hospital, not only in planning terms, but in sharing our vision for ‘a whole new way’: one that integrates children’s mental and physical health services alongside world-class research to provide holistic, personalised care in a state-of-the-art facility.”

Cambridge Children's Hospital architect picture - side of building - October 2021
Architects' drawing of the side of Cambridge Children's Hospital - Hawkins/Brown and White Arkitekter

An international design team, comprised of experts from Turner & Townsend, Hawkins\Brown, White Arkitekter, Ramboll and MJ Medical, with support from Planning Consultants, Bidwells and Fire Consultants, Alfor, have been engaging with staff from across the partner organisations about how the hospital should work. Members of Cambridge Children’s Network, which is made up of children, young people, parents and carers from across the region, have also been instrumental in helping shape how the facility might look and feel in these early designs.

The environmental impact of CCH has been a major consideration in the development of these plans. Cambridge Children’s Hospital aims to be an exemplar in sustainability as part of its role in providing a safer future for all. The hospital will include as many outdoors spaces as possible, including gardens, courtyards and terraces to provide access to nature and spaces for play and relaxation that support biodiversity and wildlife. The main hospital building will itself be enclosed within a wide landscaped green perimeter that recreates the feel of a summer meadow.

Cambridge Children's Hospital architect picture - winter garden - Credit Hawkins Brown and White Arkitekter
Architect design for a courtyard at Cambridge Children's Hospital - Hawkins Brown and White Arkitekter

Clinton Green, Director at Turner & Townsend and Design Team Project Director, said: “Reaching this major milestone is a great achievement and testament to the collective efforts and innovate approach from all involved. The design team have worked in close collaboration with the Client but also with young people, their families and staff to ensure that the design provides a welcoming and healing space for those who work or visit. We are looking forward to continuing this partnership approach as the Outline Business Case is concluded and the project moves into the next phase of development.”

Building work is due to start in 2023 and Cambridge Children’s Hospital is due to open in 2025. The hospital will sit opposite the Rosie Maternity Hospital on Robinson’s Way.