Leytonstone News

Funding for multi-storey Whipps Cross car park receives ‘outline’ government approval

The approval is a new ‘milestone’ towards building a replacement hospital, reports Josh Mellor, Local Democracy Reporter

Whipps Cross Hospital

Funding for a car park to serve a promised new hospital at Whipps Cross has received “outline” approval from the government.

In an announcement today (18th August), the Whipps Cross redevelopment team said the government has approved an outline business case for a 500-space multi-storey car park.

The Leytonstone hospital is due to be rebuilt as part of the government’s promise of “40 new hospitals” by 2030.

Although part of the old hospital has been demolished, the site of the new building cannot be prepared for construction because it is occupied by a sprawling temporary car park.

The announcement comes one year after Health Secretary Steve Barclay claimed he had approved up to £28million for the new car park to “unlock access to the site”.

But in January, Whipps Cross redevelopment director Alastair Finney said he was “going in a bit of a circle” with the government over funding approval.

In an announcement today, Finney said approval of an outline business case for the next phase preparing the site, is a new “milestone” towards building a replacement hospital.

He added: “We now want to make progress as quickly as possible.

“We have already begun the process for procuring a construction partner to carry out the works and we expect to have identified a preferred contractor by this autumn.”

The hospital team anticipates building work will only restart in 2024, once a full business case has been approved.

However, other than a target of completion by 2030, the government has not provided a budget or timeline for the full redevelopment.

Doubts have been cast over whether the government’s current £20billion pledge for the 40 new hospitals will be enough.

There are also concerns that the new hospital’s size has “grossly underestimated” future demand from residents.

The Department for Health and Social Care has not responded to a request for comment.

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