Green light for Sheffield hospital overhaul

Designs for Sheffield Children's Hospital �40m expansion, designed by architects Avanti.

Designs for Sheffield Children's Hospital �40m expansion, designed by architects Avanti.

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A MASSIVE £40 million redevelopment project at Sheffield Children’s Hospital has been given the go-ahead by councillors.

The overhaul will see a new main entrance built at the site on Western Bank, along with a ward block offering 72 en-suite rooms, the creation of a ground floor outpatients department and a new covered car park.

It is now hoped the hospital wing will be open to patients in just over two years’ time, after members of Sheffield Council’s City Centre, South and East Planning Committee voted unanimously in favour of the proposals yesterday.

After the meeting, project manager John Petty said he was ‘very happy’ with the decision.

“We’ll now continue with work on the design and we hope to start on the work by early-to-mid summer,” he said.

Mr Petty told the committee the development had been ‘a long time coming’.

“It’s extremely important for the future of the children’s hospital,” he added.

The hospital revealed its blueprints for the extension in December 2011, and a competition was run to find the right design and architect for the project, which was won by London-based practice Avanti Architects.

Much of the cost is to be met by the NHS, while the Children’s Hospital Charity aims to make up the rest through its Make It Better appeal.

Recommending the scheme for approval, planning officer Lucy Bond said much of the southern half of the hospital was ‘in a terrible condition’.

“This is pretty much the only place we can get this development to go in - the current entrance to the hospital is dire,” she said.

The ground-floor outpatients department will be equipped with 24 consulting rooms, as well as other treatment facilities, and the plans mean service and general hospital traffic will be separated.

Landscaping works were also included in the plans, such as a therapeutic ‘podium garden’ for patients and carers.

A small number of buildings on Clarkson Street and Northumberland Road will need to be demolished for the new construction.

Residents living nearby, conservation and environmental groups all raised concerns over parking and air pollution.