There is fresh uncertainty over the future of a new emergency hospital in South London.

It is understood the local NHS trust is still waiting for cash to submit a planning application for the huge new development in Sutton.

The proposal for a new hospital at the site of the Royal Marsden was approved by the government back in 2020.

However, more than two years on from the decision, planning permission is yet to be submitted.

The £500million specialist hospital in Downs Lane would provide accident and emergency, critical care, acute medicine, emergency surgery, inpatient paediatrics and birth facilities.

It would replace the A&E departments at Epsom Hospital and St Helier Hospital which would become ‘district hospitals’ with urgent treatment centres rather than emergency departments.

The trust has described St Helier Hospital as “crumbling” with many of the buildings being older than the NHS itself.

It is now understood the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust is still waiting to find out a timetable for government funding for the project, which has now been delayed several times.

The trust is now lobbying central government for upfront investment so it can submit plans and start on building work, however, this is unlikely to be received this year.

In July 2022 managing director of the trust, James Blythe, said the project had been delayed by at least two years.

At the time he told a Sutton Council meeting that discussions with central government were still ongoing.

It was originally thought work would be completed by 2025 but he said it will now not be ready until 2027 “at the earliest”.

Over the weekend, The Observer revealed that just a quarter of the government’s 40 new hospital construction projects had received planning permission.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told the national newspaper: “We are investing £3.7bn for the first four years of the New Hospital Programme and remain committed to all schemes that have been announced as part of it.

"Requirements for planning permission are dependent on construction timelines over the decade and we continue to work closely with trusts on their plans.”