ASSEMBLY Member Joyce Watson recently took a tour of a unique eco housing project in north Pembrokeshire.

Locally-based Western Solar Ltd is building Wales’ first solar hamlet on the site of a former garage in the village of Glanrhyd.

It is made up of six timber clad houses, the design of which is based on the company’s award-winning Ty Solar prototype, located in the grounds of Rhosygilwen mansion.

Once built, they will be made available to people on the housing register who have lived in the area for at least five years.

Dr Glen Peters, CEO of Western Solar, gave Mrs Watson a guided tour of three sites: Ty Solar, the hamlet and the company’s nearby eco factory, where the buildings are partly constructed before being assembled on site.

Mrs Watson, who is a member of the National Assembly’s Environment and Sustainability Committee, said: “I am very grateful to Dr Peters for inviting me to see firsthand how this exciting project is progressing. It represents big thinking on a small scale – a new model of high-tech, low-cost, low-energy, affordable housing for Wales.

“The environment committee recently visited Vauban in Freiburg, Germany, a sustainable neighbourhood of 5,000 residents, to learn how experiences in Germany could be relevant to Wales. My visit to Ty Solar will help inform our inquiry.”

As well as benefitting from free energy, occupants of the Ty Solar homes will be offered a suite of services including superfast broadband and a subsidised electric car share scheme.

Mrs Watson added: “There are lots of ground-breaking design features and techniques involved in the construction of these homes. The project is providing high-quality, high-skilled work and training opportunities for local people; I was particularly pleased to learn that much of the pre-assembly work in the factory is being done by a team of apprentices, which the Welsh Government has supported with £141,000 investment.”