WORK on a housing development in Newtown may be delayed until 2020 after contractors Jistcourt (South Wales) Ltd went into administration, Powys County Council has confirmed.

The South Wales-based construction company had been awarded the contract to build a three-storey building containing 26 one-bedroomed flats on land adjacent to Newtown Bowling Club.

Construction work was due to start at the beginning of June but to date no work has taken place.

The council has now received formal notification that the company has gone into administration, which will delay the project by several months.

Nina Davies, the council's head of housing and community development, said: "The regrettable collapse of Jistcourt has meant that work on the council's first social housing development in over 30 years will be delayed.

"The council takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the taxpayers' money is protected. All due diligence checks were carried out before the contract was awarded to Jistcourt.

"We still intend to develop this site for social housing but our plans will be delayed."

The council has also been informed by the Welsh Government that it will not lose the £2.2m Innovative Housing Programme grant towards the development of the flats.

Powys County Council will start a new contract tender process in the next few weeks for the site in Newtown as well as for sites in Brecon and Sarn and is encouraging local construction companies to tender for the work.

"Our new housing development plans are continuing to progress and shortly we will be starting the tender process for developments in Brecon and Sarn as well as for the flats in Newtown," said Ms Davies.

"The Jistcourt situation has meant that the council will continue to undertake the necessary due diligence on any company wishing to undertake council work, using market intelligence information where available.

"The council's aim is still to build 250 homes within the next three years."