SMALL businesses running nursing homes for the elderly are losing out to bigger homes with up to 60 bedrooms, says a social services report.

The report from North Yorkshire County Council highlighted a growing national problem of smaller homes closing down.

Last summer, a small home at Caxton Lodge, North Road, Ripon, was closed and found alternative accommodation for its residents.

Now a planning application has been submitted to turn it into a six-bedroomed house. The plan is likely to be approved by members of Ripon area planning committee of Harrogate Borough Council on Tuesday.

However, a report from North Yorkshire social services expressed disappointment that the home had closed, which it said indicated the problems small homes were encountering in achieving requirements of the Care Standards Act 2000.

Because the home had already closed and everyone re-housed, the county council did not object to the conversion.