Last year, 339 new homes were built in Powys and 124 of them were affordable homes, a report has revealed.

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, October 10 senior councillors were presented with the draft LDP (Local Development Plan) annual monitoring report (AMR) for 2022/2023.

The report, which is the fourth one, is a legal requirement and looks at how well the LDP is working to accomplish its goal of guiding development in Powys.

Planning portfolio holder, Liberal Democrat Cllr Jake Berriman said: “In essence the AMR does contain some helpful insight on the developments taking place across the county and as such its effectiveness in driving economic growth and meeting local housing needs.

“The AMR concludes that the plan in largely delivering on the targets we monitor demonstrating overall effectiveness of planning policies.

“Housing growth on allocated sites has been disappointing but overall numbers are healthy this year despite severe restrictions arising from the phosphates issue.”

Building work in parts of the county, especially around the Wye catchment area has been struggling as new developments could increase phosphates that pollute rivers - work to upgrade the wastewater infrastructure needs to be done if developments in these areas are to proceed.

Cllr Berriman said: “Member will recall that low numbers in previous years triggered the formal plan review we’re now calling LDP two, which I will report on again in the coming months as I seek to consider how best to progress.”

This is because of the Mid Wales Corporate Joint Committee (CJC) that Powys are part of with Ceredigion Council needs to work on a “strategic development plan” for the region.

Due to this Cllr Berriman is “acknowledging the fact” that Powys doesn’t have the staff and resources to do all this work.

Cllr Berriman said: “In the meantime I ask for the AMR to be agreed and submitted to the Welsh Government by October 31.”

Cabinet unanimously agreed the report.

While the LDP is said to be “largely delivering” on targets the report shows in reality it is lagging well behind the aspiration of the plan.

Since 2011, 2,809 dwellings have been built, but the target by the end of March 2023 was 3,390.

Affordable homes are also behind schedule with 832 from a target of 952 delivered.

The report said: “With three years left of the plan period it is unlikely that the adopted LDP’s dwelling requirement figure of 4,500 new dwellings will be achieved over the plan period 2011 – 2026.”

Of the 81 sites allocated for housing in the LDP, 53 of them which equates to 65 per cent - don’t have any form of planning permission on them.

The report said: “The number of dwelling completions on allocated housing sites since the LDP was adopted, equates to 155 dwellings, only fulfilling 10 per cent. of the 1,542 dwellings cumulative target.”

But around a quarter of these sites have been hit by the phosphates issues.

The report said: “Some permissions have been granted within the monitoring period, but only where improvements to wastewater treatment works including permits are included in Dwr Cymru’s asset management programme 2020-2025, such as Llandrindod Wells and Builth Wells.”