A NEW eco-tourism village, the first of its kind in the UK, spa complex and chalets are coming to Garnant after being unanimously approved at a council planning meeting.

An application for the new tourist facility was unanimously passed by Carmarthenshire county councillors at a planning meeting on Thursday.

Councillor Kevin Madge, who spoke in support of the application before leaving the chamber due to a conflict of interest, said: “I know that one area of concern was the Dynevor Road junction. I am told it will be turned into a one-way road and traffic calming measures will be introduced.

“The development will also help safeguard the future of the golf club, bringing in another stream of income with golfing holidays and wedding events.”

Councillor John James added: “Tourism is becoming more and more important in this county and that is one of the main reasons I will be supporting this project, as well as the potential for job creation for the area.”

Councillors voted unanimously to grant permission.

Following the vote, Councillor Alun Lenny said: “It is very pleasing to see a former coal mining area like Garnant having a new tourism industry. Who would have thought that this would have been possible when coal was at its high point.”

Speaking following the decision, Simon Card, of Brecon View Eco Village, said: “This will be the first zero carbon village for tourism in Britain, and we believe the first in Europe. It is flagship project not just for Carmarthenshire, but for Wales as well.

“It will provide, in the first stage, 26 well paid jobs for the local economy, and the second stage will provide a further 70.

“We are ensuring that 90 per cent of the contractors that we use are based within 20 miles of the site, boosting the local economy and reducing our carbon footprint.

“It is our ambition to be integrated with the area, and become part of the village, and we hope this development will provide a boost to other businesses as well.”

The spa building, which will run on solar power, and will include a swimming pool, jacuzzi, saunas, and steam rooms amongst more.

He also confirmed it would be open to Garnant residents.

Work will start in July, and it is hoped the development will be complete by August 2020.