Contentious plans to close a care home and turn it into accommodation for the homeless in Bromley have been approved.

Ashcroft Care Home in London Lane is currently too small to continue as it is, following a refused application to increase the number of rooms in 2015.

The new proposal will allow 16 flatlets with 29 beds for homeless people, designed to accommodate lone people and families.

Despite more than 50 objections to the proposed change of use, councillors agreed to give the scheme the go-ahead at a planning meeting on Thursday, November 29.

Lilah Edney, whose husband lives in the current care home, said at the meeting: “He is entirely dependent on the help and kindness of his carers. They are such good people.

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“Homeless families need help. They must have help. But why does it have to be at the expense of the frail, ill residents of Ashcroft? None of them can walk, some of them are bed-bound, many of them are confused.

“Bromley cannot afford to lose a home that offers the high level of specialised, end-of life nursing care which Ashcroft gives. Homes like Ashcroft are not easy to find.

“Bromley will lose a valuable and much-needed asset if it allows Ashcroft to close.”

Neighbours also argued that “social issues” come with homeless families that will make children at the nearby primary school “uncomfortable and unsafe”, according to objections submitted.

Concerned residents say the facility would be “totally out of character with the neighbourhood” and would bring anti-social behaviour, mess and noise.

However, councillors agreed to approve the proposals that had been put forward by the care home.

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In its application, Ashcroft said: “Being one of the smallest homes, its long-term viability has always been in doubt and it has been recognised that if it is to survive, then it would need to achieve a capacity of at least 40 beds, based on current standards.

“Attempts to increase its capacity have been made and the most recent planning application in 2015 was turned down for a number of reasons, not least of which was local opposition to the proposal.

“Ashcroft, given its size and location, could provide a valuable resource that would address the significant demand for accommodation for homeless families within Bromley.”

All residents would be rehomed, according to the home’s application.

According to planning documents submitted by the home, the new homeless accommodation would be leased to the council.

Acceptances into temporary accommodation in Bromley have risen 135 per cent since 2012, with 1,439 households now placed in it.

Recommending the scheme, officers said: “The potential closure of the care home is regrettable and it would appear on balance that its future viability as a going concern is not possible.”

The nursing home has proposed a three-year limit on the development.