Councillors have narrowly voted to refuse care provider's plan to house overseas nurses in mobile homes at one of its properties.

Dorrington House, on Norwich Road, Watton, said it had tried unsuccessfully to hire people locally to fill its carer vacancies, and applied to Breckland Council to have the mobile homes behind its car park, to temporarily accommodate the staff and their families.

At a meeting of the council’s planning committee on Thursday, July 7, owner Steve Dorrington said the families living with the nurses would be limited to spouses only, and those spouses would have to work in the care home as a condition of living there.

He added that the shortage of care workers in the UK was “critical” and that the mobile homes would have “oodles of space”.

But a neighbour expressed concern over a loss of privacy and local Conservative councillor Tina Kiddell warned that it could create “a ghetto-like effect on an already small area”.

Councillors voted by four votes against permission, with three in favour of granting it.