An empty village bungalow could be turned into part of a nursing home for dementia patients.

Plans submitted to Horsham District Council propose turning the vacant property in Horsham Road, Cowfold, into a care facility.

Medicrest Ltd, who currently own three care homes, want the site to be an additional facility that forms part of its Homelands Nursing Home, also in Horsham Road.

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If the plans are approved, the bungalow would remain a single storey and would cater for seven people.

The residents would each have their own ensuite rooms and access to a communal living and dining area, as well as a kitchen space.

An office would also be available for care staff.

This would require front and rear extensions, however the care company has said this would match the original structure.

A spokesman for Medicrest Ltd said: "We believe that this proposal to provide an additional seven beds to the existing average occupancy of 41 beds across the neighbouring care home sites, in place of an existing 2 bedroom house, is designed to suit the quiet countryside location with minimal impact on the site and nearby residents.

"Most people with severe dementia live in care homes, but a few care homes have closed in recent years and there is a shortage of specialised care in the district.

"It is increasingly difficult to find suitable places for people with dementia and families would have to look beyond the district to support their relatives.

"The Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), based in Horsham, has regularly contacted us searching for vacancies for their dementia patients.

"There is an increasing need to offer a residential place for people with dementia, providing them with a safe, friendly environment to live in.

"We consider that the application should be recommended for approval as the need for additional capacity for this dementia care home has been demonstrated and it will enable the care home to continue to provide excellent nursing care for local people."

A decision on whether to approve the plans is set to be made by June 3.