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The Chancellor, George Osborne, announced the good news when he visited Brighton on 1 May, writes the Brighton Society

Work has already started on the former St Mary’s school. Staff and equipment will be moved out of the old hospital buildings and temporarily into the former grade II listed St Mary’s Hall School nearby. The roof is being removed to carry out remedial work, a temporary roof structure is being installed above the original roof which will eventually be put back in place.

Work on demolition and replacement of the Barry and Jubilee Buildings and construction of an expanded cancer centre and an underground car park will start when that approval has been received, but not before the beginning of 2014.

The site of the Consolidation Centre has not yet been decided between 2 or 3 sites outside the City boundaries. The choice of site will determine the route for the construction traffic. Work on constructing the helipad on top of the Thomas Kemp tower will begin in a few months.

The Brighton Society requested that the colour of the wall panels should be a reserved matter so that they could be considered subsequent to planning permission having been granted. This has now been agreed, as Condition 37. Professor Duane Passman, Director of 3Ts, Estates and Facilities, wrote to the Brighton Society: “BDP, our architect, put a significant amount of thought into the selection of the colour palette and how it will be viewed from different parts of Brighton & Hove”.

Although The Brighton Society regrets the loss of the Barry building (which English Heritage turned down for listing in 2009) it accepts that it is not possible to retain it as part of the new scheme. The surviving Barry building is, in fact, only a damaged remnant of the original hospital (see above 1835 engraving). The listed chapel, designed by William Hallett, will be relocated to another part of the new building and will also house the hospital’s history archive.

The Brighton Society is concerned about the £10million being spent on creating hundereds of extra car parking spaces, which will encourage more people to drive at the hospital, leading to more congestion amd pollution in Eastern Road and making it difficult to maintain the present reliable and frequent bus service, not to mention the hold-up of ambulances. We would have liked to see an equivalent sum spent on alternative forms of travel. We are pleased that bus lane plans on a key route to the hospital are to be unveiled later in the year. Parts of Edward Street and Eastern Road will give priorty to public transport.  

The Brighton Society is worried about the placing of the hospital entrance which cannot be seen by pedestrians walking from from the east. Perhaps a hanging painted public house sign could mark the entrance. The latest design for the development can be viewed on the hospital website: http://www.bsuh.nhs.uk/about-us/hospital-redevelopment/