Royal Sussex Hospital redevelopment:

August 2011 update

Brighton and Sussex Universities Hospital Trust, under the brand name 3Ts, aims to submit in September 2011 a planning application for vast rebuilding on its Eastern Road site.

The huge project, phased over at least a decade, is a £400 million-plus replacement of the present motley group of buildings with badly needed modernised facilities. It will have an expanded cancer centre, neuroscience transferred from Haywards Heath and enhanced medical school facilities. At least 80 per cent of the investment will upgrade and replace essential services for the local catchment area.

There will also be a new service – the regional major trauma centre, which requires a helicopter landing pad and is expected to determine the survival of at least one critically injured patient a week.

Key issues for the physical and built environment fall in two groups: one resulting from the massive works over 10+ years (process), the other comparing the built form of the city today and on completion (product).

Process issues

Before the first phase of demolition, MRI and nuclear medicine will be moved into a six-storey temporary building, to the right of the main entrance and similar in height and colour to the existing Barry Building. This will be among the first work on site – a planning application has already been submitted. It will be in place for six or seven years.

A large consolidation site will be required elsewhere in the greater Brighton area. This will be used for crushing demolition material, sorting waste, storing material and holding vehicles.

Two possibilities are Sheepcote Valley at the top of Wilson Avenue, which the National Park may rule out; and the gasworks site between Boundary Road and the marina access alongside Marine Gate flats.

Inevitably, there will be massive disturbance – locally caused by demolition and building process, more widely caused by heavy traffic. Another concern is the likelihood of the programme timetable slipping.

Product issues

The present jumble of buildings between Eastern Road and the new Royal Alex Children’s Hospital will be replaced, including remnants of the front of the pre-Victorian hospital, then outside the town, designed by Charles Barry.

The Barry building replacement, in phase 2, will have roof gardens above an eaves line similar in height to the Barry building.

The listed chapel interior will be rebuilt to the east of the development under a roof line similar to the adjacent Victorian terraces.

The helicopter pad, which will be built first, will alter the skyline on top of the 1960s Thomas Kemp Tower, appearing to raise it by the equivalent of three storeys.

Three tall, thin blocks of wards will run towards Eastern Road to the south of the existing tower.

Make your views heard

The 3Ts project team is very keen to listen to local opinion on the redevelopment and have been running an exemplary consultation process from the start. To join liaison group meetings, e-mail The next meeting is on 22 August at 7.00 pm.

Once planning permission is applied for, the Regency Society will be formulating and submitting its view. If you would like to contribute to our submission, please contact

Find out more

The urgent need for this work is well described in a video at or

Anyone who does not know the existing buildings from personal experience can take a tour through its corridors at

For more information about the plans, go to

With thanks to John McKean.

<< Back to News

The proposed street frontage from the east, hopefully making the three tall spines of wards appear less overwhelming. Just glimpsed over the Victorian terrace is the helipad on top of the existing Thomas Kemp tower.

Looking down on the development, showing the three tall blocks of wards to the east, most of which will catch glimpses of a sea view. To the west are the roof gardens and terraces on top of a five-storey block. Royal Alexandra children’s hospital top left, Thomas Kemp tower with helipad top right.

The view up Paston Place, showing five-storeys, clean and simple glazing and sunshading. This is a 21st century response to an early 19th century heritage.


The view from Palace Pier, showing the ward blocks looming over the Victorian Gothic Lanes Hotel and to the right of the existing Royal Alex, and the helipad on top of the existing Kemp Tower behind.


Main Navigation

Intentionally blank