ACONTROVERSIAL new housing scheme at Llandeilo has been scrapped after a dramatic council U-turn.

Carmarthenshire Council had looked set to approve proposals for a 20-house residential unit at the former Cawdor Motors site in Ffairfach but have had a change of heart following a site meeting.

The future of the site, which had been earmarked for housing association properties, had looked decided until planners deferred a decision pending a site visit.

Following that meeting council representatives reversed their previous recommendation and the application was refused. The U-turn is a victory for the large number of local residents and councillors who have been up in arms over the proposal, claiming it would have a detrimental effect on the fabric of the village.

Councillor for Llandeilo Ieuan Jones said: "Personally I am happy that this application has been refused.

"Ffairfach and Llandeilo has lost around 150 jobs already - we need to concentrate on creating new jobs before more housing is built.

"What's the point bringing people into the area if there are no jobs here for them?

"There's plenty of starter houses here for young couples so there is absolutely no need for socio-economic housing in the area."

It was understood that a housing association had verbally approached the council with a view to developing affordable housing on the land under the authority's Social Housing Grant Programme.

Refusal of such a development will undoubtedly delight locals who don't feel that there is a housing problem in the area.

County head of planning Eifion Bowen said: "The application was refused due to the loss of employment land at the site."

The reasons for refusal, it seems, could have left the door open for future business or retail investors to move in for the site.