A 13-year saga is over after a planning inspector ruled that a controversial proposal for 100 houses in Pembrey could go ahead.

Persimmon Homes applied to build the estate on two fields between Garreglwyd and Mountain Road in 2009.

Further reports were required due to wider concerns in the area about water quality, and revisions to the scheme was submitted to the council in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

The Welsh Government called in the application in April 2019, meaning the council could turn it down but not grant permission without prior ministerial authorisation.

The proposal came before the authority’s planning committee in October 2019, with an officer recommendation of approval.

The officers’ report said 20% of the houses would be affordable, that Persimmon Homes would contribute £146,000 towards local education facilities, and that a sewerage connection would be upgraded to accommodate the estate.

There were scores of objections to the application, along with an opposition petition signed by 276 people.

Committee members voted against the officer recommendation, confirming eight reasons for doing so at a later meeting.

Persimmon Homes appealed the decision, and the council withdrew all its objections except those relating to highway safety.

The case was heard by Welsh Government-appointed planning inspector Anthony Thickett, who has decided that the houses can be built.

Mr Thickett said the council did not present technical or empirical evidence to support its objection that traffic generated by the estate – to be accessed from Garreglwyd – would exacerbate problems at “an already” busy Garreglwyd-A484 junction.

His report added: “I have considered residents’ concerns but the only empirical evidence before me shows that Garreglwyd-A484 junction has the capacity to accommodate the traffic generated by the proposed development safely and will not lead to congestion on Garreglwyd.”

Mr Thickett also considered the impact of the estate on heritage buildings, including grade two-listed farm ruins known as Cwrt Farm. He concluded that it would not have an unacceptable impact on the setting of the farm.

He set out 15 conditions as part of the planning consent on behalf of Welsh ministers.

Pembrey resident Alan Phillips said he was surprised that the council had been overruled.

Mr Phillips, of Dan-y-Bryn, said people in the area were worried about the potential of the scheme to exacerbate flooding at the canal south of Garreglwyd.

He added: “The traffic is going to be horrendous.”

Andy Edwards, managing director for Persimmon Homes West Wales, said:  “The site will deliver 100 much-needed homes, giving local people the opportunity to remain in the area as well as creating jobs and boosting the local economy.”

As well as the education contribution, Mr Edwards said £50,000 would be provided to upgrade surface water culverts.

“We look forward to starting work in the months to come,” he said.