“I’M as confident as I can be that this will happen” – these are the words of a Hampshire health chief regarding plans to build a new hospital for Basingstoke.

As previously reported, a 14-week public consultation on plans to build a new specialist acute hospital using up to £900m of government funding for Basingstoke and north Hampshire launched on Monday, December 11, asking the public for their views on the proposals.

READ MORE: Why Basingstoke needs a new hospital and what it means for you

However, after previous plans to build a new £150m critical treatment hospital for the town fell through in 2017 following years of planning and work, residents in Basingstoke are understandably sceptical as to whether the new hospital will ever be built.

In 2015, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) submitted plans to the borough council to build a £150m critical treatment hospital on land near Junction 7 of the M3, to be built alongside a new £18.5m cancer treatment centre.

The plans were in the advanced stages, with an artist’s impression (see below) drawn up and the public invited to view the plans at an exhibition.

Basingstoke Gazette: An artist's impression of the plans for a new hospital drawn up in 2015An artist's impression of the plans for a new hospital drawn up in 2015 Then, in 2017, the proposals were scrapped because the project was deemed ‘not affordable’ by the North Hampshire and the West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGS) - now Integrated Care Boards (ICBs).

SEE ALSO: New £800m specialist acute hospital to be built in Basingstoke

Six years later, the NHS has had to spend millions of pounds on maintenance on its hospital buildings in Basingstoke, with millions more needed to be spent before the new hospital opens in 2032.

Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer for NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICB, told the Gazette: “This is different in that this is part of the national new hospital programme. I’m as confident as I can be that this will happen. We have gone through the national process and there are more than 40 hospitals being built. This feels like it’s going to happen.

"We need this new building and the refurbishment of Winchester hospital.”