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HOK bounces back at Royal London

HOK Architects has gone for 'second time lucky' for its latest proposals for the controversial new PFI project at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Plans for the 905-bed hospital were mauled by critics when they were unveiled last summer.

Both CABE and the Greater London Authority savaged the £1 billion development, claiming that the design had fallen short of the standards expected for a scheme that would create the country's largest hospital.

However, after consultation with local stakeholders, including the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the Skanska Innisfree consortium has now submitted a revised planning application. According to a spokesman: 'The amendments address the design of the new development, but do not compromise the hospital's clinical functionality, which lies at the heart of the original plans.' It is understood that the new scheme has won qualified backing from CABE and is expected to have an easier planning process than HOK's first effort. If given the go-ahead, the hospital would become home to the Cancer and Cardiac Centre of Excellence at St Bartholomew's Hospital in the City.

Paul White, chief executive of Barts and The London NHS Trust, said: 'The trust and Skanska Innisfree have learnt a great deal from the consultation and received plenty of feedback, which has allowed us to achieve significant design improvements.' An exhibition of all the latest proposals is on public display in Whitechapel until Sunday (20 February).

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