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Detailed plans submitted to deliver the new Velindre Cancer Centre

Velindre University NHS Trust launched a competition to develop the new Velindre Cancer Centre in September 2021. It was won by the ACORN consortium with designs for a beautiful, elegant, sustainable new cancer centre designed for patients, staff and the local community with an exceptional landscape and community benefits solution.

To deliver this scheme, ACORN has submitted a Reserved Matters planning application to Cardiff Council for its consideration.

The Reserved Matters submission includes details such as building design and landscaping plans for Cardiff Council’s approval.

Details set out within the Reserved Matters submission, including a model and Computer-Generated Images of the designs, will be available for the public to view at our Open Community Drop-In Events taking place 14, 18 and 24 October 2022 in Whitchurch Rugby Club.

The submission references the currently approved emergency access which runs through the Hollybush estate.

However, the Trust has submitted a new application to provide an alternative for this road to the south of the site. Subject to Cardiff Council's consideration of this new application, it is ACORN’s intention to remove the current location for the emergency access from the Reserved Matters application proposal.

The ACORN team has been working hard to provide a cancer centre that will promote excellence in cancer services and support international research and development.

Some of the key features of the detailed designs are set out below.

Respecting the landscape

The design has been developed to ensure minimum impact on the site. The design and landscape strategy aim to keep the site as wild as possible by retaining existing habitats and creating new habitats alongside new landscape spaces such as an orchard, and community kitchen garden. The scheme also seeks to create informal play areas and a multitude of walking, cycling and relaxation areas.

Welcoming spaces

Patients and visitors arrive through the entrances directly into the ‘Lolfa’ providing a welcoming atmosphere for patients and visitors. A variety of spaces are provided including the patient transport waiting area, the young person’s lounge and the café/restaurant.

A design for the long term

The new cancer centre is being developed to comply with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and deliver the most sustainable hospital in the UK.

The design approach to façades means that internal spaces can be easily reconfigured without the need for costly structural alterations. This will allow the building to respond to the space requirements of future innovation in treatment and equipment.


The design utilises low embodied carbon, bio-based materials that support a circular economy. This includes timber specified for the Lolfa, Radiotherapy and waiting areas. Natural internal materials such as lime and clay renders which are breathable, flexible and anti-fungal are also proposed to deliver a natural calming environment for staff, patients, their families and visitors.

The new Velindre Cancer Centre will achieve a minimum BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ and is designed to be all electric. A strategy is in place to reduce site waste through off-site manufacture of components, minimise transportation and create greater efficiencies in the construction and maintenance of the building.

Sustainable Urban Drainage systems will be integrated that focus on ‘roof to river’ with minimal below ground pipes, a swale network and retention pond.

Community benefits

A community benefits offer will see many jobs created, apprentices trained, school pupils engaged, substantial community initiatives and engagement. ACORN will establish the IMPACT Community Benefits Delivery Plan that is described by five key headings:

A summary of plans for the new Velindre Cancer Centre.

Additional community benefits proposed include a Carbon Literacy Training Programme, employment of a Ranger, Grow and Prosper Social Business Programme, Social Business Makers Market, and a Tool Library.

You can find the Reserved Matters Planning Application on Cardiff Council's Planning Portal.

For further information come along to one of our Open Community Drop-In Events or contact us on

Velindre University NHS Trust, Unit 2,Charnwood Court, Parc Nantgarw, Nantgarw, Cardiff, CF15 7QZ
Tel: 029 2019 6161