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Planning permission granted for Cambridge Children’s Hospital

A children's hospital for the region takes another step forward as planning permission is granted for its early designs and floor plans.

Cambridge Children's Exterior
Cambridge Children's Hospital exterior design, Hawkins/Brown and White Arkitekter

The early external hospital designs received the thumbs up from the Cambridge City Council planning committee today as all members ‘resolved to award consent’ for the plans.

Built on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, the hospital will care for children and young people from across the whole region – Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire - but also nationally and internationally, as a ‘hospital without walls’.

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.

Approval of the October 2021 planning application builds on the existing outline planning permission which was granted for the site previously.

With an estimated total footprint of around 35,000sq m, including 5000sq m of research space, the early designs show how this innovative hospital might look when it opens. The plans also include details of possible future development for the hospital.

Meanwhile, work continues on developing the Outline Business Case, which has to be approved by NHSE and the Department of Health, and on the fundraising campaign which was announced earlier in 2021.

We are determined to realise our vision for ‘a whole new way’.

Andrew Tollick, senior programme manager for design and construction

Andrew Tollick, senior programme manager for design and construction, Cambridge Children’s Hospital, said:

“I’m delighted that we have taken another big step towards making Cambridge Children’s Hospital a reality.

"There is still a long way to go before building work can begin but planning approval for the early external designs is a rock-solid foundation.

We are determined to realise 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.”

An international design team, comprised of experts from Turner & Townsend, Hawkins\Brown, White Arkitekter, Ramboll and MJ Medical, with support from planning consultants Bidwells, 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.

It’s really important that children and young people are involved in designing the hospital

Tristan, age 11
Cambridge Children's Hospital - North Courtyard
Cambridge Children's Hospital north courtyard design, Hawkins/Brown and White Arkitekter

Tristan, a young CUH patient said:

I did a design programme with a group of people who help design the hospital. It was fun and we got to join in a lot.

"At the end they showed us what the outside of the hospital will look like. It was really cool and I liked it a lot. When I saw the drawings there were bits of greenery inside the hospital, right in the centre, and I knew I had something to do with that. It made me feel proud.

It’s really important that children and young people are involved in designing the hospital because we’ve been in hospital at a young age and we’ve had experience. We can say we didn’t like this, so we should change it.”

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.

Its landmark design for a state-of-the-art healthcare facility, with its focus on sustainability and wellbeing, will set a new standard of paediatric care as an example for other hospitals across the UK and beyond to follow.

Clinton Green, director at Turner & Townsend and design team project director

Clinton Green, director at Turner & Townsend said:

“The new hospital is a trailblazer in how integrated children’s mental and physical care is delivered.

"The speed of reaching the major milestone of planning permission approval is testament to the expertise and collaborative efforts of the entire design team, working side by side with the Cambridge Children’s Hospital team on this important journey.”

Cambridge Children’s Hospital will sit opposite the Rosie Maternity Hospital on Robinson’s Way.