Broadmoor hospital's £254m revamp plan approved

Image caption Broadmoor opened in 1863 as England's first asylum for the criminally insane

Plans for a £254m upgrade and redevelopment of Broadmoor Hospital have been approved by Bracknell Forest Council.

The complex within the existing grounds in Crowthorne, Berkshire will have 10 new wards, providing accommodation for 210 patients.

Construction of the new building in the high security facility is expected to start in the autumn of 2013.

It is expected to open to patients in late 2016.

'Unfit for purpose'

Vickie Holcroft, programme director for the Broadmoor redevelopment, said: "We're delighted with the Council's decision to give this extremely important project the go ahead.

"I hope the council's backing goes some way in helping the Trust achieve its goals and continuing with the often difficult, but necessary work of rehabilitation of these severely, mentally ill patients."

In 2003 the ageing Victorian buildings were declared "unfit for purpose" by the Commission For Healthcare Improvement.

Often incorrectly referred to as a prison, some of the country's most notorious killers and sex offenders have been treated within the hospital.

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe is still detained at Broadmoor.

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