New Whipps Cross Hospital project hit by delay

Whipps Cross University Hospital (Picture: Katie Collins/PA)

Whipps Cross University Hospital - Credit: Katie Collins/PA

Work on the new Whipps Cross Hospital has been held up due to delays in government funding.

Last month, builders finished knocking down the old nurses’ accommodation in a corner of the site. 

The project’s next stage involves building a multi-storey car park, needed to free up land currently used as sprawling ground-level parking.

But a spokesperson for the Whipps Cross redevelopment team was unable to confirm exactly when building will be able to start.

They told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) the team submitted a detailed business case to the government in March and “expect” to start construction “later this year”.

They added: “We continue to work closely with national colleagues on the business case process, funding and timescales.

“With the demolition completed, we are in the best possible position to proceed once we’re given the ‘green light’.”

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The government approved funding for a new Whipps Cross Hospital in October 2020 after the Conservatives pledged to build 40 new hospitals in the 2019 election campaign.

Outline planning permission to rebuild the hospital on one fifth of the site and sell the remaining land to housing developers was granted in November last year.

The plan is to complete the new hospital before the older “not fit for purpose” hospital buildings in Leytonstone are demolished.

The Department for Health and Social Care did not comment on delays to construction.

A spokesperson for the department told the LDRS funding for early works on hospital sites is being considered on a case-by-case basis.

Waltham Forest Council’s cabinet member for public health, Councillor Naheed Asghar, said: “We and Redbridge Council handed the government an 11,000 strong petition this March highlighting how important the redevelopment of Whipps Cross Hospital is for local residents.

“The current buildings are not fit for purpose – they are old, outdated and at risk from flooding as the events of last July proved. 

“Since then, nothing has changed to improve the situation at Whipps Cross. 

“We urge the government to honour its promise and deliver the upgraded hospital.”