Plans for M&S and WHSmith to move into new building in Goodmayes

Plans have been submitted for a new food offering at the hospital. Picture: Ken Mears

Plans have been submitted for a new food offering at the hospital. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

An application has been submitted to build offices and shops in King George Hospital.

If the green light is given a new block at the main entrance in Barley Lane, Goodmayes would be erected which would contain food facilities, a newsagent and an administrative floor.

The designs picture WH Smith and M&S Simply Food and both retailers have already won similar contracts to operate at other hospitals across England.

"It is anticipated that the new food and newsagent stores will provide an alternative supply for patients, visitors and staff alike, and offer more choice and variety to ensure they have a more enjoyable experience whilst at the hospital," the applicant, Novinti Dev Co 4, said.

"The new retail offers will sell goods/food that is not normally found in the high street stores associated with the proposed brands.

"Furthermore, the relocation of admin/clerical at first-floor level will free up space within the existing hospital for acute services."

The two-storey unit will have a textured finish and will have "contrasting" reflective surfaces of bronze and stone which will "complement the existing hospital building".

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A six-person lift will serve the development and the existing pedestrian crossing outside the main entrance will be upgraded.

The applicant said that at present, the hospital is "very under-catered for its size" and there is "one remotely located generic restaurant and a very small cafe".

As the hospital campus is large and there are no nearby accessible high street shops "visitors, and in particular staff, are effectively captive with very limited choice and indeed seating space".

"The NHS Constitution outlines that NHS trusts have a duty to make available a range of quality refreshments and compliant health choice for staff, patients and visitors," the applicant added.

"A staff survey was also carried out in 2018, where the consensus was that the existing building appeared dated, with little access to daylight and ventilation.

"It is envisaged that this new building will add a new, more contemporary layer to the existing building, further increasing the aspirations and wellbeing of staff, as well as creating a more cared-for and up-to-date impression to visitors and patients.

"On a further note, there are more tranquil pockets of green space around the main courtyard access area, it is hoped that the use of the retail building will encourage people to come outside in the first instance, to engage with these spaces, to promote physical and mental healing."