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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007, 14:01 GMT
Government approval for hospital
Image of the planned hospital
The hospital will have single rooms all with en-suite facilities
A new multi million pound hospital in Kent has received government approval.

If the 225m private-finance scheme gets planning permission, it will see the creation of the long-awaited 512-bed Pembury Hospital.

The Department of Health said the project to replace two hospital buildings represented value for money.

Greg Clark, the Tory MP for Tunbridge Wells, said the "state-of-the-art new hospital is now tantalisingly close to becoming a reality."

"We will have one of the finest hospitals in Britain on our doorstep," he said.

The hospital at Pembury, near Tunbridge Wells, will replace both the existing Pembury and Kent and Sussex hospitals.

Ian Thomas, vice-chairman of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospital Forum, said the government decision was long overdue.

"The Pembury site is an old workhouse, [and] the hospital in Tunbridge Wells was built in the 1920s," he explained.

A developer has already been chosen to build the hospital, with work due to start by the end of 2007.

It is hoped the new hospital will be open by 2011.


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