PLANS to expand the maternity unit at Bradford’s busiest hospital have been approved by Bradford Council.

The application has been granted, meaning the works to expand the unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary can now go ahead as planned.

The unit will now see a two-storey extension built at its rear, along with a roof top plant room, refurbishment to the interior of the building and some minor external landscaping work.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said in the plans that the upgrades to the maternity unit, the biggest of its kind in the city, are needed to improve patient experience.

The new extension, covering 326 square metres, will contain two new obstetrics theatres, theatre support facilities, and recovery areas.

A space in the extension will also be left empty in anticipation of future expansion needs.

The existing facilities refurbishment will involve the creation of more recovery rooms, patient and staff facilities, and a high dependency delivery room.

In the application, the hospital trust said: “The proposal has been conceived to answer the current needs of the Women and Children’s Unit at the Bradford Royal Infirmary’s Maternity by providing new and improved theatres and improving patient experience.

“The work will be carried out in phases with new build works prioritised to minimise disruption caused to the live unit.”

Referring to the building’s modern design, the application says: “We have thought of a design that picks specific colours of the existing palette on the building: beige/ochre with greys, while consciously dismissing the pervasive brick, so the design outstands from its gloomy background through highly contrasting and bright shades.

“Not quite an extension but a relaxing break.

“The design considers maximising natural lighting within the Theatres whilst remaining translucent for patient dignity and privacy and creating a feature corner on the South West facade.”

In approving the plans, Bradford Council planning officers said: “The proposal is welcomed as it would allow improvement to the hospital facilities.

“The extension using a mixture of cladding materials which are considered to be acceptable considering there are various of materials used within the hospital complex.

“Even though it is contrast to the existing it has modern design that is similar to the other modern additions of the hospital complex.”

Bradford Council granted the NHS trust full permission to build the extension.