Proposals for a new multi-million pound hospital at Bury St Edmunds look set to be submitted to planners early next year.

Before the outline application is finalised though the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) is next month holding a further six-week consultation to get the views of the community.

The trust announced it has selected Hardwick Manor as its preferred site for a new healthcare facility after investigating four options.

It bought the manor house and its 70 acres of grounds, which had been on the market for £3.5million, a year ago. The site is next to the current West Suffolk Hospital in Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds.

The buildings at Hardwick Lane have outlived their projected 30-year lifespan.

As part of the outline planning application process, the second phase of pre-application public planning engagement will launch on Monday, November 1 and run until Sunday, December 12.

This will provide indicative illustrations and plans on how the Hardwick Manor site could be utilised for the new hospital as well as how feedback gathered at the first round of engagement has helped to influence and shape early outline proposals.

Trust interim chief executive Craig Black said: "The team really enjoyed meeting and talking to so many people, both virtually and face to face, at our first phase of pre-application public planning engagement. The feedback received was invaluable and we have taken it on board.

"Securing outline planning permission is a significant milestone on our journey to building a new hospital and we are excited that our local community is helping us shape the eventual outcome.

"We encourage the public to attend one of the engagement events planned and to get involved by sharing your thoughts."

One of the key aims of the plans is to further develop integrated working with partner organisations such as St Nicholas Hospice and mental health provider Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and ensure the way that health services are delivered is fit for the area's current and future needs.

The trust has been confirmed as one of 40 across the country to receive funding for new build projects from the Government’s Health Infrastructure Programme.

The West Suffolk Hospital build is part of phase two of the overall Health Infrastructure Plan, with an expected completion date between 2025 and 2030.

The new consultation will feature a series of Covid secure face-to-face events with precautionary measures including temperature checks, a one-way system, social distancing, a limit on numbers in the venue, and regular cleaning and sanitising of the equipment.

Additionally, the first hour of each event is reserved as being quieter and sensory friendly.

Events are planned for:

  • 16 November - 3pm – 7pm - Mildenhall – The Jubilee Centre, IP28 7HG
  • 17 November - 2pm – 8pm - Bury St. Edmunds – The Apex, IP33 3FD
  • 18 November - 3pm – 7pm - Sudbury – Assembly Room, Sudbury Town Hall, CO10 1TL
  • 23 November - 2pm – 6pm - Haverhill – Main Hall, Chalkstone Community Centre, CB9 0JB
  • 25 November - 3pm – 7pm - Newmarket – Memorial Hall, High Street, CB8 8JP
  • 29 November - 4pm – 8pm - Stowmarket – Main Hall, Stowmarket Community Centre, IP14 2BD
  • 2 December - 4pm – 8pm - Brandon – Brandon Leisure Centre, IP27 0JB
  • 7 December - 1pm – 5pm - Thetford – Main Hall, The Charles Burrell Centre, IP24 3LH

A virtual meeting will be held on Monday, November 22 at 7pm – 8.30pm and can be joined at

For those unable to attend any of the planned events, the information displayed at the events and an online feedback form will be available on the Trust website at from November 1 until December 12. To make sure everyone has a chance to share their views and get involved, the online form is compatible with screen readers and the language can be amended.

Printed copies of the feedback form will be posted to those households nearest to the preferred Hardwick Manor site and will be available at face-to-face engagement events. The feedback form is provided with a return freepost address and can be requested in an easy read format.