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22 February 2013 | Posted by Andy Thompson
Cambridge City Planning Committee has granted planning permission to Beacon Planning client, Nuffield Health to build a small, new, state-of-the-art hospital on its Nuffield site in Trumpington Road.

There was extensive consultation within the Cambridge community before the plans were submitted and they incorporated a number of suggestions made during the consultations into the final submission. The Nuffield project team and senior management at the hospital are indebted to local residents and other interested groups for the constructive approach taken to the idea of the new hospital.

'Neighbours' willingness to meet and consider with us matters of mutual concern has been one of the most positive aspects of the months of planning,' comments Maxine Estop, the hospital's director.

Andy Thompson, director of Beacon Planning, who has been the planning consultant to the project, is also aware of the value of close collaboration:
"The speedy progression of this project through the planning system is a testament to the importance of collaboration between the applicant and its professional team and the various individuals and organisations in the local community. The respect and understanding each party has shown for the opinions of others has made a significant contribution in obtaining a positive outcome for Nuffield Health in this planning application. We have been pleased to have played our part in this successful team."

The construction of the new hospital is not perhaps challenging in itself, but the context within which it is to be built certainly is. The decision has been taken to build the new hospital alongside the current hospital with the latter remaining open as a working hospital throughout the period of construction. Only on completion of the new hospital will the old one close and be demolished, leaving just the 1990's wing as part of the new building.

Maxine Estop again: 'We realise that our planning must be scrupulous in every detail to protect patients and staff from any likely disruption from the construction process. At the same time we need to be aware that our neighbours live here and deserve the same consideration. We have a school across the road, and residents close by, who should be as protected as possible from intrusion. Great care will be taken to minimise the impact of construction as far as is realistically possible.'

Nuffield Health has committed £27 million to the building of the new hospital and the landscaping of its new surroundings. Work is likely to begin on the first phase in August 2013.