Plans have been approved for a "trailblazing" new £700 million Scottish hospital.

At a full meeting of North Lanarkshire Council on Thursday, the council agreed planning permission for the new, state-of-the-art hospital to replace University Hospital Monklands.

The new hospital will be constructed at Wester Moffat in Airdrie by NHS Lanarkshire’s Monklands Replacement Project (MRP).

Professor Jann Gardner, NHS Lanarkshire Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted that North Lanarkshire Council has given planning consent. We would also like to thank the council for their expertise and continued support for this ambitious project for North Lanarkshire.

READ MORE: Planning application submitted for new £700 million Scots hospital

“The new hospital will be one of Scotland’s major capital projects, bringing with it enormous opportunities for the whole of Lanarkshire and beyond.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the MRP team and their expert advisors for their considerable work preparing this successful application.”

Des Murray, Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “This is the most significant step forward for the Monklands Replacement Project, as it moves from planning and concept stage to starting the delivery of what will be one of the most state-of-the-art hospitals in Scotland.

“We have been working in partnership with NHS Lanarkshire to support the delivery of the new hospital, particularly in relation to the council’s commitment to deliver the proposed East Airdrie Link Road. This proposed new road forms part of the Pan Lanarkshire Transport Corridor infrastructure improvements, which effectively links the M74 at Motherwell to the M80 in Cumbernauld, supporting regeneration and new investment and importantly, connects communities and businesses across North Lanarkshire to the central belt and beyond.”

How the new University Hospital Monklands could look How the new University Hospital Monklands could look (Image: NHS Lanarkshire)

Colin Lauder, NHS Lanarkshire Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Planning, Property and Performance said: “The new University Hospital Monklands is a hugely significant project with the ambition to be the first hospital in Scotland to be fully digital and net zero carbon.

“The project also brings employment opportunities, through construction and operation, and broader community benefits including skills training, apprenticeships and support for businesses of all sizes.

“The council has approved our proposal for the new hospital to have three surface parking areas and a three-level multi-storey, providing around 2100 parking spaces in total – double the capacity at the existing University Hospital Monklands.

“The new hospital will have improved transport connections. Bus links for the new site will be equal to or greater than those currently provided at the existing hospital and there will be an active travel, walking and cycling, route to Drumgelloch train station.

“Sustainability is fundamental to the MRP’s design. The planning application set out ways to protect and enhance the natural environment of the woodland area.

“Gaining planning consent is yet another landmark moment for the MRP.

“We’re now developing a full business case (FBC) and the project’s budget will be part of this process.

“NHS Lanarkshire remains fully committed to the MRP, with the project timeline unchanged as we work towards completing the FBC next year (2025) and opening our new hospital in 2031.”