Ambitious plans for a multi-million pound supported living development for elderly residents in Ammanford have been approved by county planners.

The scheme, submitted by Carmarthenshire county council and Family Housing Association (FHA), will see 50 self-contained homes for individuals requiring varying degrees of care built on land at Gwynfryn of Station Road.

The state-of-the-art facility – which will offer 24-hour on-site support and flexible care – was given the green light by the county planning committee on Tuesday with work expected to start imminently.

Planning officer Graham Noakes described the scheme as “a significant proposal on behalf of the county council”.

Despite objections from Llandybie community council, who opposed the scale of the development, the committee unanimously approved the application.

Local councillor Peter Cooper said: “I have got no problem at all with this development and the local people have no problem with it either.

“This is something which is very much needed in the area - particularly as the two care homes run by the council - Tegfan or Glanmarlais – are on their way out.”

Speaking after the decision, Cllr Jane Tremlett, executive board member for health and social care said: “Despite this difficult economic climate, we remain committed to providing quality care that lives up to the modern day standards.

“We are keen to move quickly on this development which will provide the Ammanford area with a state-of-the-art facility which provides not only care, but independence too.”

The multi-million scheme is part of the council’s capital investment programme to update and improve care provision in Carmarthenshire, and has included funding from Welsh Government and FHA.

A spokesman for the authority said approval for the scheme “will bring forward the planned closure of either Tegfan or Glanmarlais care homes”.

“There is capacity in other residential care homes in the area which could accommodate residents of either Tegfan or Glanmarlais if necessary,” said the spokesman.

“Such a move would be carried out sensitively with the full involvement of families, and in accordance with policies which ease the transition.”

Council leader Cllr Kevin Madge said: “This is good news for Ammanford.

“Not only will it provide quality care facilities, it will also provide long-term jobs for local people and will kick-start a wider investment in housing in the area.”