Garnant councillor and chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council, Kevin Madge, has welcomed plans to build nine local authority homes on the site of the former Arcade Terrace.

The move comes as part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s plans to build 57 new homes in Ammanford and the Amman Valley as part of a three-year £53million scheme, which will see the construction of 374 local authority-owned homes in the county.

A further 10-year scheme, costing £150million in total, will see a total of 932 local authority homes built in Carmarthenshire.

Council leader Emlyn Dole said the developments would put the county “at the forefront in Wales” of building council-owned homes.

He and fellow executive board members approved the first phase of building at a meeting on July 29.

The three-year phase in four districts will 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.

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.

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).

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.

Following the announcement, Cllr Madge, who spearheaded a 30-year campaign to tear down the derelict Arcade Terrace buildings, told the Guardian: “I welcome the county council buying the (Arcade Terrace) property.

“I’m delighted that there will be housing for local people on this site as there are a lot of people on the housing list in this area.

Following the demolition of the former buildings, the Arcade Terrace site had been earmarked for a mini-supermarket but when that deal fell through the council moved in to buy the land.

“This is something very close to my heart,” said Cllr Madge. “It’s very pleasing.

“I am delighted to see that the current council is continuing the house-building programme started under my leadership.

“I have spent the best part of my political career trying to sort out Arcade Terrace and to see council-owned homes being built on the site will finally feel like a job well done.”