Planning permission granted for Cambridge Children’s Hospital

An international design team has helped to secure another step forward for Cambridge Children’s Hospital as planning permission is granted for its early designs.

The early external hospital designs received the thumbs up from the Cambridge City Council Planning Committee today as 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 east of England – 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.

The international design team is led by Turner & Townsend, as project manager and cost manager, and comprises an architectural collaboration between White Arkitekter and Hawkins\Brown, with Ramboll providing engineering services, MJ Medical providing healthcare planning and planning consultancy by Bidwells.

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 5,000sq 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/I and the Department of Health, and on the fundraising campaign which was announced earlier in 2021.

Andrew Tollick, Senior Programme Manager for Design and Construction, Cambridge Children’s Hospital, said: “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.”

The project team has 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.
Andrew Tollick, Senior Programme Manager for Design and Construction, Cambridge Children’s Hospital

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.

The new hospital is a trailblazer in how integrated children’s mental and physical care is delivered.  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 and Design Team Project Director, said: “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.”

Negar Mihanyar, Associate Director and project lead at Hawkins\Brown said: “This is an important milestone not just for the project but also for how we design holistic and inclusive healthcare in the UK – a long overdue breakdown of the traditional silos of mental and physical care. It will serve children and young people in their most formative years, so we have a responsibility to create a welcoming and empathetic space. We valued the insights and creativity that came from co-designing with children, young people, parents and carers as well as staff across the two NHS Trusts and the University of Cambridge, who have generously supported us while working tirelessly through the pandemic.”

Cristiana Caira, White Arkitekter, Partner and Project Lead, said: “We have worked at an intensive pace and in close collaboration with children, families and clinical staff to achieve this milestone and we are immensely proud to be part of it. Cambridge Children’s Hospital is grounded in the vision of “a whole new way.”

It enables a radical change in the model of care for children and young people by putting the whole child at the centre, while integrating their physical, mental and social health. The design team has been working to translate this vision into a new typology for healthcare. As a result, Cambridge Children’s Hospital is the first co-located facility of its kind in the world, and a role model for a new generation of hospitals.
Cristiana Caira, White Arkitekter, Partner and Project Lead

Kevin Smith, Ramboll UK Healthcare Lead, said: “Ramboll are delighted to have provided sustainability and engineering advisory and design services to support the successful planning submission on this fantastic project. The project will be a beacon of healthcare expertise that benefits children and young people across the East of England, as well as nationally and internationally. Being a part of the collaborative client and multi-disciplinary consultant team has reached this achievement has been fantastic. We are excited that the project can progress to its next stage and that is will ultimately provide a world-class sustainable, net zero carbon, future-proofed, smart and homely healing environment.”

Kate Bradley, Senior Health Planning consultant at MJ Medical, said: “It is great to see this ground-breaking project progressing further. With a unique care model, a strong collaboration between a range of local stakeholders, and an exemplary design, the Cambridge Children’s Hospital will be a world-class healthcare facility for children and families in the east of England.”

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

Contact Person

Cristiana Caira

Cristiana Caira



+46 31 60 87 77

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