Major redevelopment plans for Colchester Hospital have been revealed which will see the creation of a new entrance building and an overhaul of the road system.

A planning application has been submitted by the hospital’s trust to construct a two-storey, 2,104 sq m building at the front of the site incorporating a new entrance and reception area, café and retail units and offices.

There would also be extra space for an urgent treatment centre linked to the existing emergency department.

An overhaul of the road system directly outside the front of the hospital will see the new building replace the access road outside the entrance.

If plans get the go ahead access for buses would be maintained via a “turning loop” at the southern entrance to the site, whilst a drop off and pick up zone for ambulances, cars and taxis will be built near to the new building.

A report states: “This new main entrance facility will provide visitors and patients in particular with a calming and welcoming environment when entering the hospital, which by its nature is generally a stressful experience for most.

“Staff will benefit from having a range of significantly improved facilities on the hospital campus, especially given there are no external shops and cafes within easy walking distance of the hospital.”


A map showing how the landscape of the hospital could change

The East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust will work in partnership with commercial organisations on the development.

The cost of the work, which is out to tender, is unknown at this stage however it is expected to be million of pounds.

A planning report states the development would bring hospital bosses a “modest annual income stream” as well as one-off income receipt on completion.

The report continues: “This proposal delivers the emergency department extension, the new visitor WCs, changing places and the first floor accommodation to the trust at no cost.

“The trust has worked extremely hard to make year-on-year savings.

“In this financial environment, exploring and developing options for income generation, for instance from retail operations, is vital.

“As a public body, any income generated from activities such as retail trading is directly reinvested, in order to provide high quality patient care.

“The trust believes the scheme will bring much needed additional income to current operations and provide much-valued facilities for patients, staff and visitors.”

The retail and café units could be home to brands like Costa or M&S.

In terms of clinical improvement, four new examination rooms will be provided for the urgent treatment centre along with administration space on the first floor.

In February, work began on the hospital's new cancer centre.