A councillor has said that it is "appalling" that the new West Suffolk Hospital may now not be completed, after a group of MPs called the project into question.

The Public Accounts Committee has cast doubt upon the New Hospital Programme, in which a new building was proposed for Bury St Edmunds in plans to construct 40 new hospitals in England by 2030.

Plans for the new hospital on the site of Hardwick Manor were deemed of crucial importance as the hospital is affected by reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

The concrete has been described as being like an "an Aero chocolate bar" and is prone to crumbling.

The group said that the programme "will not deliver all 40 new hospitals by 2030" and is "highly unlikely" to build the 32 new hospitals that it is now aiming to complete.

Councillor Julia Wakelam, of Abbeygate ward in Bury St Edmunds, said: "It's devastating news.

"The hospital is falling apart, it's costing a fortune every year to be propped up as it has really severe RAAC problems, and it is not able to provide the service that it wants to provide.

East Anglian Daily Times: Councillor Julia WakelamCouncillor Julia Wakelam (Image: Archant)

"It is appalling to string not only the hospital trust but local people along by saying that we will have this hospital and now we may not.

"It has also resulted in a huge waste of local money, and it's symptomatic of everything this dreadful government has not done.

"It seems the Chancellor is going to use £10m to make tax cuts, when that money should be spent on the health services.

"This doesn't just affect local people now but in the future as well, as we are an area with an expanding population, and we need to provide a service for young families. I think it's shocking."

East Anglian Daily Times: West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St EdmundsWest Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds (Image: Archant)

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We are committed to delivering 40 new hospitals by 2030, expected to be backed by over £20 billion of investment and additional clinical projects.

"Three hospitals are open to patients, another two opening shortly, and a further 16 in construction or have early construction activity under way to prepare sites. Our innovative 'Hospital 2.0' approach will enable us to build high quality hospitals more quickly.

"With better value for money for the taxpayer, new hospitals will feature single bedrooms which can reduce length of stay, improve infection control and boost use of bed capacity."

West Suffolk Hospital was approached for comment but did not wish to provide one.