Neglected plans to transform the old Machynlleth Travis Perkins builder site into affordable housing are to be renewed in the coming months.

The site has been abandoned for roughly two decades as the land has passed to three different hands, whilst multiple planning applications have been granted and permission lapsed.

The Powys town is ‘desperately short’ of affordable and rental housing according to councillors.

The former Travis Perkins building yard on Heol Y Doll contains two buildings and gated yard
The former Travis Perkins building yard on Heol Y Doll contains two buildings and gated yard (Divine Homes)

Across Powys, 53 of the 80 pieces of land earmarked for housing have been left untouched since 2011 according to Powys County Council documents, whilst 4,133 people were sitting on council housing waiting lists as of Jan 2024.

Owners of the former Travis Perkins site, housing association Barcud (a combined entity of Tai Ceredigion and Mid-Wales Housing Association) are the newest and current owners of the land, whose latest application in 2020 proposed to convert the litter-strewn building yard and two barn/storage facilities into 16 apartments.

Barcud states however that soaring costs in materials have scuppered developers' plans across the UK, not just their own.

The latest vision for the site proposed eight apartments
The latest vision for the site proposed eight apartments (Divine Homes)

A spokesperson for Barcud said: “Barcud has been exploring various options for the site, whilst completing several other projects that were ongoing.

“Current spiralling build costs and balancing what can be built on a site that partially falls under a conservation area is challenging.

“Managing the high infrastructure costs that come with the site must also be taken into account.

“The site is currently undergoing a final review, and Barcud hopes to provide further details on the project in the next few months.”

The site was originally bought for development by Tesco dating back to 2008, but later abandoned the plans.

A second private developer then bought the site and took several years to get planning permission for a housing development, but also abandoned the plans.

Barcud states it saw the site as an “excellent opportunity to provide more high-quality, energy-efficient homes in Machynlleth” but that the previous plans did not meet Barcud’s and the Welsh Government’s building standards for housing associations.

Meanwhile town Mayor Cllr Jeremy Paige said “we absolutely need more housing”, whilst Powys County Cllr Michael Williams blamed “lack of available land” as the issue, adding that “one end of the town is virtually all common land, and the other end is a flood plane.

“This means when land becomes available it should be given every consideration.

“People want houses - they don’t want to live in trees - well I don’t anyway!”