A £29m project to bring more than 250 much-needed homes to Ebbw Vale has been hailed an "exciting new development" by the local authority.

Persimmon Homes, one of the largest housebuilders in the UK, has started work on 277 houses on the former Ebbw Vale Comprehensive School and College site.

The development on Waun-Y-Pound Road will be known as Carn Y Cefn and will be made up of two, three and four-bedroom homes.

A total of 55 of the properties will be available for social rent with housing association United Welsh for prospective tenants on the Blaenau Gwent Council Common Housing Register.

As well as delivering desperately-needed homes to the area the development will create more than 200 jobs over the five-year construction period, as well as boosting the local economy by £7m per annum.

Persimmon has agreed to contribute £783,354 towards education provision, which will be split between Glyncoed and Willowtown Primary Schools.

Bethan McPherson, team manager at Connected Communities, said: “Strong working relationships with one of our key development partners, United Welsh; along with an unwavering commitment to deliver, has enabled us to attract a national house builder to Blaenau Gwent, providing open market homes and increasing our overall housing offer to local residents and those wishing to move to the area.”

Lynn Morgan, director of development and regeneration at United Welsh, said: "It’s fantastic to see work begin on site in Ebbw Vale. Having homes available for social rent in Carn Y Cefn will not only be beneficial for the area and its residents but will have a positive impact on tackling the housing crisis in Wales.

"Creating communities full of high quality, affordable homes is a key priority for United Welsh, and this development is a huge step towards that. We look forward to seeing the homes come to life."

More than 1,000 people have expressed an interest in the Carn Y Cefn homes, which are due to go on sale in November or December, with the first occupants in spring or summer next year.

People can register an interest in the homes by calling 01495 364 202 or by visiting www.persimmonhomes.com