UP to 230 homes in Burry Port could be a step closer after Carmarthenshire Council chiefs agreed to buy a former zinc oxide factory site by the town’s harbour.
The vacant Grillo plot, between the B4311 and the beach, is considered a key piece of a larger regeneration plan for Burry Port.
Up to 230 properties, some commercial space and visitor parking were given outline planning approval for the Grillo site in 2016.
Two years later the council’s executive board agreed to buy the privately-owned site for £2 million. It said the seven-acre plot of land was unlikely to be redeveloped in the near future without council intervention.
Then, in 2019, the council extended the time needed to submit a detailed planning application for the Grillo site by three years.
At its latest meeting, the executive board again decided to buy the site in a decision made behind closed doors.
Minutes from the July 27 meeting, which don’t mention any purchase price, said the acquisition would support the wider plans for Burry Port.
“It was deemed that development of this site would bring forward much-needed housing in an area of high demand together with some 30 new jobs being created by the commercial element of the development,” added the minutes.
A council spokeswoman said due diligence, checks and the extension of the planning timescales had been required following the executive board’s 2018 decision.
Flood concerns have been raised in some quarters about the Grillo site, which adjoins council land. The site closed for good as a factory in 2006.
A flood consequence assessment submitted on behalf of the council said some mitigation work should be carried out to minimise flood risk, as well as suitable drainage.
The Grillo site is part of a larger, 15-acre bank of land which the council wants to turn into a harbourside residential development of up to 364 units.
The authority also wants to create space for creative and media organisations on the other side of the B4311 – land which used to be a lead and silver works. A supermarket is proposed opposite.
Separately, a company called The Marine Group plans to upgrade the 450-berth marina and revamp the historic marine house building.
Referring to the Grillo purchase decision, Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council clerk Huw Thomas said: “The town council has not been made aware of this yet.
“Of course, anything that speeds up the process of investment in the town should be welcomed.”