A new £227m hospital in Tunbridge Wells will go ahead later this year after it was approved by the local NHS authority.
Construction of the first phase of the 512-bed Pembury Hospital will now begin before the end of the year if the plans are given approval by the Department of Health.
It comes after the local health authority, NHS South East Coast, approved the decision to replace the existing Old Pembury Hospital and Kent and Sussex Hospital in the town centre.
Candy Morris, chief executive of NHS South East Coast, said: “I’m pleased with the decision which brings this long-hoped for scheme a major step forward.
“We will work with the Department of Health in the weeks ahead to take the scheme forward and deliver the vision of excellent care for patients in west Kent.”
The new hospital will include facilities for planned and emergency surgery, as well as orthopaedics and maternity and children’s services.
It is hoped the first phase of the scheme will be completed by 2010, with the final phase in operation by 2012.
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