A ten-year £420 million rebuilding of Brighton’s main hospital has been given planning permission.
Three new buildings will replace all those now on the southern half – or Eastern Road – side of the Royal Sussex County Hospital site in Eastern Road.
A helipad will be perched on top of the Thomas Kemp Tower, adding almost 40ft to the current height of the main roof level.
And a two-storey underground car park with 390 spaces will mean an extra 297 spaces by the end of the second phase of the three-stage project. It also adds 188 bike parking spaces and 27 more for motorbikes.
Some 74 conditions have been attached to the scheme which is due to start with preparatory work in a few months’ time.
Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee also said that hospital bosses should sign a contract known as a section 106 agreement.
This requires Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Sussex, to pay £556,000 towards transport improvements in the area. And £420,000 must be spent on public art.
The agreement also requires the trust to hold at least four meetings a year with residents during construction.
It says that at least 20 per cent of the 450 construction workers should be from Brighton and Hove.
The first of the two main buildings will be a three-fingered block up to 12 storeys high. It will have links to the Thomas Kemp Tower and will replace the Jubilee Building and the neighbouring Latilla Building and Annex.
Work is expected to start next year after a temporary six-storey building has been put up this year by the eastern end of the Barry Building.
The second of the two main buildings will be a five-storey block in place of the Barry Building which is due to be demolished in 2017.
The third and final main building will include stores by a goods yard off Bristol Gate to be built in 2021 when the scheme is due to completed.
Duncan Selbie, the hospital trust chief executive, said: “The city has thankfully given the green light to modernising the county hospital and we can now move on to secure the financing.
“Anyone who has had a loved one or been in the Barry Building as a patient themselves knows how much this is needed.”