DETAILS of the first phase of a large council house-building programme in Carmarthenshire have been unveiled.
The Plaid-Independent administration has previously said it wants to build more than 900 council houses, with an estimated cost of £143m.
Housing chiefs have divided the county into four areas to reflect affordable housing needs as part of a delivery plan for the 10-year project.
The Llanelli and district area gets the lion’s share of the new properties (439), followed by Carmarthen and the west (188), Ammanford and the Amman Valley (186), and Carmarthen rural and market towns (119).
The aim is to deliver 374 new houses in the first three-year phase with 242 of these in the Llanelli and district area.
Introducing the detailed proposals at a council scrutiny committee meeting, Carmarthenshire’s head of homes and safer communities Jonathan Morgan said: “The plan is ambitious and will hopefully leave a lasting legacy.”
There would, he added, be “massive” employment opportunities.
Work on two sites in Bryn, Llanelli, and Garreglwyd, Pembrey, is already under way.
The programme will return Carmarthenshire’s council housing stock to levels last seen in the 1990s and mainly be financed by council borrowing. Welsh Government grants will also play their part.
Some of the homes will be built by the council’s arms’ length housing company Cartrefi Croeso while parterships with private developers will also be explored.
Mr Morgan said some sites earmarked for development could, however, be dropped and others added as the 10-year scheme progresses.
He reassured the communities scrutiny committee the houses would be of a decent size and energy efficient and would use technology to help meet people’s health needs where required.
“They will certainly be far bigger than we have seen built by private developers,” he said.
Committee member councillor Handel Davies, said: “It is very encouraging that we are building so many houses in the county.”
In a separate pledge in 2016 the council said it would deliver 1,000 affordable homes across Carmarthenshire by bringing empty properties back into use and supporting private landlords through a special housing agency among other methods.
Updating the committee on this five-year plan, Mr Morgan said: “After the first three years we have nearly delivered 700 homes – we are quite confident that we will get close to or even above the 1,000 homes by the end of the fourth year.”
Speaking after the meeting Cllr Linda Evans, executive board member for housing, said: “We have looked carefully at where there is greatest housing need across the county and aim to deliver a plan that will provide homes in communities where people want to live, a range of homes to suit specific needs including homes for people requiring assisted living, where there are good transport links and easy access to facilities.”