Royal Free Hospital chiefs say controversial £42m building means groundbreaking treatments for patients

What the Pears Building would look like, with St Stephen's left

What the Pears Building would look like, with St Stephen's left - Credit: Archant

Patients at the Royal Free Hospital will have greater access to groundbreaking treatments after a new research centre was approved, bosses have said.

Last night planning permission for the £42million building, which will host more than 200 researchers developing treatments for conditions including HIV, leukaemia and diabetes, was granted.

Work is expected to begin later this year.

Concerns have been raised over the impact the new centre, called the Pears building, would have on neighbouring St Stephen’s Church.

A series of planning conditions were imposed to address the concerns.

Prime Minister David Cameron had backed the development, and last night’s meeting heard it was of “international significance”.

A statement from The Royal Free Hospital said: “We are pleased planning permission for the Pears building has been granted by Camden Council, subject to a section 106 agreement (planning obligations).

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“The Pears building will be home to the expanded UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation, where researchers are developing new treatments for conditions like leukaemia, HIV and diabetes.

“Their work means that more patients at the Royal Free Hospital will have access to the latest treatments through clinical trials.

“The building will also include accommodation for out-patients who live far from the hospital.”

The project is a partnership between the Royal Free Charity, the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and the University College London.