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PLANS to build more than 900 council houses puts Carmarthenshire “at the forefront in Wales”, council leader Emlyn Dole said.

He and fellow executive board members approved the first phase of building, which will deliver 374 new properties, at a meeting on July 29.

The three-year phase in four districts will cost £53m and see 242 new council properties in the Llanelli and district area, 57 Ammanford and the Amman Valley, 47 in Carmarthen and the west, and 27 in Carmarthen rural and market towns. This will be followed by two further phases in a 10-year project costing some £150m in total.

Executive board member for housing, Councillor Linda Evans, said the “high-standard” homes would be built in areas of need and return Carmarthenshire’s housing stock to 1990s levels.
“The project is a very exciting and challenging one,” she said.

Carmarthenshire councillor Linda Evans 9pic by Richard Youle)

Cllr Dole said the Plaid Cymru-Independent administration’s proposals had been discussed with Julie James, Minister for Housing and Local Government.

“This puts us at the forefront in Wales,” he said.

The project will now go for discussion by full council in September.

If all goes to plan 932 houses will be shared across the Llanelli and district area (439), Carmarthen and the west (188), Ammanford and the Amman Valley (186), and Carmarthen rural and market towns (119).

Cllr Cefin Campbell, executive board member for communities and rural affairs, said the scheme would bolster rural areas as well as helping those who could not afford to get on the housing ladder.

“No other county in Wales is doing what we are doing,” he said.

The project will mainly be financed by council borrowing. Welsh Government grants will also play their part.

The administration has separately pledged to deliver 1,000 affordable homes by 2021 by bringing empty properties back into use and supporting private landlords through a special housing agency, among other methods.

Cllr Evans said more than 700 of these affordable homes had already been delivered.

“I am completely confident that we will reach this (1,000) target by 2021,” she said.

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