At the age of 62, most women would be looking forward to retirement - but Britain's oldest mother has other ideas.

Dr Patricia Rashbrook, who is experiencing parenthood for the third time round as a pensioner, is refusing to take a career break.

The child psychiatrist is believed to be planning to work from home to be closer to baby son JJ, who will celebrate his first birthday in July.

Dr Rashbrook and husband John Farrant, 61, want to convert part of the basement hair salon at their £500,000 Regency townhouse in Lewes into a medical consulting room. The High Street business would open from 10am to 4pm.

A spokesman for Lewes District Council said: "They wish to use the space partly as a consulting room for one consultant and partly as residential accommodation."

Planners have yet to decide whether to grant permission for a change of use of the property from retail to professional services.

A neighbour said: "Good luck to her, I think it's a good move. I take my hat off to her for holding down a job and being a mother at her age. We don't see much of her any more so I guess she's already spending a lot of time at home."

Speaking from their home, Mr Farrant, an academic, said: "I have absolutely no comment to make."

Dr Rashbrook, a child psychiatrist, became Britain's oldest mother when she gave birth to her son last summer. She became pregnant after receiving fertility treatment from controversial Italian doctor Severino Antinori.

Dr Rashbrook married John Farrant in 2003 after first husband Brian died. She has two children from her first marriage, 26-year-old Caroline and William, 22.

The world's oldest mother is now Spaniard Carmela Bousada, 67, who gave birth to twins in December.

The Office for National Statistics has revealed women are working longer hours in paid employment than at any moment in peacetime history, while the number of men spending long days at the office has fallen by a fifth since 1992, with 300,000 becoming "house husbands".