Plans have been submitted for a 16-bed care home that "will help to tackle bed-blocking" in Norfolk's NHS hospitals. 

Developers are looking to establish the private centre in an existing building off Hall Lane, just outside Drayton. 

The proposals would see the dwelling extended to facilitate 16 en-suite bedrooms, the installation of a new public footpath to provide a new access point and the development of a 23-space car park.

Norwich Evening News: An aerial view of the siteAn aerial view of the site (Image: Google Maps)

The home would specialise in complex care for patients that require ventilation and who have intensive care regimes that have been referred from intensive care units in NHS hospitals.

"We hope it will ease the pressure on hospitals," said Gavin Elsey, director of development operations for the applicant Ethos Care.

"The centre will free up ICU beds by providing a step-down service."

The application was submitted in 2022 but was only validated by Broadland District Council recently as a result of delays caused by nutrient neutrality.

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The plans have also received backlash from a neighbour who claims they are out of character with the area, could potentially create road hazards and be damaging to the surrounding environment.

In a letter penned to the local authority, the concerned homeowner said: "The change of use will severely impact a shrinking, picturesque, rural area of meadow and grassland with established and thriving flora and fauna.

"For example, the oak tree at the bottom of the Tall Trees drive was recently measured and found to be over 400 years old.

Norwich Evening News: The proposed layout for the care homeThe proposed layout for the care home (Image: Broadland District Council)

"I fear for the life of this tree which has a conservation order on it."

However, Mr Elsey said the concerns have been addressed - with Ethos informing the neighbour that the 400-year-old tree, which is found some distance from the site, would not be touched.

"We worked with specialists and staff from the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board while putting together these plans," he added. 

"Everyone is aware of the shortage of beds.

"We hope this centre will help to tackle this problem."

The plans will be considered by Drayton Parish Council in August before being reviewed by Broadland.