A bid to convert a shop into a care home has been refused by planners over fears for the vitiality of a village high street.

Wayne Redgrave wanted permission to change the use of a vacant retail unit on The Street in Acle from commercial to residential. 

The new plans would have seen the property incorporated back into a building next door known as Beaconsfield House to form part of a care home - an additional bedroom and a lounge - for children aged 11 to 17-years-old.

Planners at Broadland District Council refused the scheme due to loss of a retail unit and a community facility or local service.

A planning officer also said no marketing took place and it was not demonstrated that the current retail unit was unviable.

The premises was most recently used as a flower shop, The Enchanted Florist, which now trades at Moulton Nurseries Garden Centre on Acle Road in Moulton St Mary.

Approval has been granted for the adjacent residential building to be converted into a five-bedroom care home.

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Acle Parish Council had objected to the application, stating that it would result in the loss of retail space in the village's high street.

They said the vitality of the village depends on increasing footfall to the local shops and businesses.

The parish council owns the adjacent former Barclays bank building which is currently being refurbished into four commercial units.

Several villagers had also objected to the plans, stating that Acle was "the wrong place".

One respondent said: "My worry is that youngsters of that age would become bored and look for other ways to entertain themselves."

Lana Hempsall, district councillor for Acle, had called for the application to be heard before the planning committee - but the planning officer said this was not necessary.