COUNCILLORS have approved plans for a £98million rebuild of Stanmore’s Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital that safeguards 1,300 jobs.

Harrow Council’s planning committee granted permission for the specialist hospital trust's scheme yesterday evening at a specially convened meeting held at Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow. Construction will begin in about April 2016 and will take 12 years.

Rob Hurd, the hospital trust's chief executive, said: “This is a great day for the trust and all our patients and staff. 

"These plans have been talked about for more than 30 years so we are delighted to see them finally get the green light. 

"We are extremely proud of our reputation as a world-class provider of specialist orthopaedic and musculo-skeletal care and wanted to do everything we could to preserve this.

“The decision will mean our vision for providing exemplary healthcare for our patients and our ability to remain as a national and international centre of excellence can now be realised. I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to get us to this point.”

Through a Private Finance Initiative, the most of the current hospital in Brockley Hill, Stanmore, will be demolished and replaced with a new outpatients’ department, spinal cord injury centre, special accommodation unit for parents, rehabilitation centre and 805-space multi-storey car park immediately outside the main hospital block.

Land in the eastern and western portions of the site will be sold for 347 houses and flats to allow the trust to reduce its borrowing costs.

The Aspire National Training Centre and the connected Mike Heaffey Centre, run as a single rehabilitation centre for people with spinal injuries by the Aspire charity, will remain.

Princess Eugenie, who received treatment for curvature of the spine at the hospital, is patron of an appeal to fundraise £15m to equip the hospital and to build Princess Eugenie House, a replacement accommodation unit where patients’ parents can stay, and which will replace the Graham Hill Unit.

Planning committee chairman , and Harrow Council's portfolio holder for planning and regeneration, Councillor Keith Ferry (Labour), said: “This hospital is one of the jewels in the crown of our borough and this redevelopment is the result of years of collaboration between RNOH staff and the Harrow planning service. 

"This will allow it to continue the fantastic work that it does to provide treatment and care for patients in a modern environment.”