Health bosses have announced plans to build a £20m accident and emergency department to meet a surge in demand at a Durham City Hospital.
Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is pressing ahead with the A&E revamp at the University Hospital of North Durham as the facility is receiving 60,000 patients a year - double the amount it was built for in 2001.
Health chiefs want to demolish the Grade II-listed but now derelict Dryburn House, opposite the current A&E entrance, replacing it with a health hub for urgent and emergency care.
Funding for the multi-million pound project could come from a private finance initiative.
The trust has asked Durham County Council for permission to demolish Dryburn House, with a decision expected to be made in May.