A new £370million hospital for Birmingham and the Black Country is a step closer after getting approval for a Compulsory Purchase Order.
Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust bosses have been given Government permission to buy up land for the building in Grove Lane, Smethwick.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley confirmed the CPO in a letter to Trust bosses, saying: “There is a compelling case, in the public interest, for the confirmation of the order to facilitate the construction of a new hospital and associated facilities.”
The Land Acquisition Group and Project Team will now move ahead with plans for the Midland Metropolitan Hospital to replace Victorian City Hospital, in Winson Green, and Sandwell Hospital, in West Bromwich.
Sue Davis, Chair of the Trust, said: “This is really good news for people in Sandwell and Western Birmingham who are one step closer to seeing the Midland Metropolitan Hospital become a reality.
“Local people deserve the very best healthcare facilities and we delighted that we reached another milestone on the journey.
“Clearly we must now wait for approval of the Outline Business Case which is currently being reviewed by the Department of Health and the Treasury.”
All major NHS investment schemes must now be evaluated for the strength of their economic case by Whitehall, but Trust chiefs have been advised that the project should meet requirements and be approved.
Trust managers have already purchased a third of the land voluntarily but needed the CPO order to gain the rest of the plot, which lies empty.
The hospital has already been selected a name – Midland Metropolitan Hospital – and Trust chiefs hope to open the new hospital by 2016.
It will have 666 beds with 129 further beds in community health centres.