A former mental health facility is to be turned into 21 new homes despite drawing fierce criticism from locals.

Developers have been granted permission by North Norfolk District Council to transform Milestones Hospital in Catfield into housing three years after it was shut following a string of safety concerns.

Lion Properties, which is behind the scheme, say the revamp will give new life to the disused brownfield site while providing much-needed new homes.

Eastern Daily Press: The entrance to Milestones Hospital in CatfieldThe entrance to Milestones Hospital in Catfield (Image: Google)

The bid has caused controversy among local councillors due to the lack of affordable housing.

There have also been complaints that the site was not marketed properly to healthcare providers before being considered for redevelopment as housing.

Other concerns include the loss of a much-needed mental health facility in the area at a time when people are having to travel as far as Wales for treatment.

Despite these issues, the planning committee decided on balance that the scheme should go ahead, although several members were dissatisfied with the failings in how the property had been marketed as a healthcare facility.

Seven councillors voted for the scheme, while four abstained and three voted against it.