A £4M development in Bromley, which will help relieve a shortage of nursing home beds, has been given the go-ahead by councillors.

The 60-bed Mission Care home, in Oaklands Road, should be open by March 2003, and the charity's chief executive, Age Concern and the NHS Trust, have all predicted it will be desperately needed.

The new home will use state-of-the-art technology to ease the lives of the physically disabled.

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Three care homes in Bromley borough closed between March 2000 and March 2001, and it is thought a shortage of beds is developing because of the cost of land.

Mission Care chief executive Gerry Armstrong said: “The home will be central and convenient for public transport, which is useful for staff and relatives.

“All of the rooms will meet high standards for space, and will be en-suite.

“Special technology will be in place to make it easier to move physically disabled patients.

“This charity has been working in the borough for 67 years, and now all Bromley's residents can be proud of this new home for the most vulnerable and needy residents.

“Recent reports have highlighted that it is very difficult and expensive to build care homes in this area, particularly in such central locations.

“We expect there won't be many more homes opening because of land prices.”

Age Concern Bromley director Maureen Falloon said: “I'm delighted by this news. Some very good homes have closed recently and this will be an excellent development as more beds are needed.”

Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust nursing homes registration officer Freda Smith said: “The beds this home will bring are badly needed. There is definitely a difficulty getting land in Bromley and there is a shortage of provision which is a big problem.”