Major Planning Applications

Page updated on: 31/08/2023

In line with corporate priorities, Carmarthenshire values the local economy and is looking to support projects that create jobs and economic activity.

The definition of ‘Major Projects’ is as defined in the General Development Order. 

Major applications are defined as follows:

  • Housing Developments of 10 residential units or more
  • Housing Developments of 0.5ha where the number of units is not known
  • Commercial Development where 1000sqm or more is created
  • Sites of 1ha or more

Pre Application Service

  • Early engagement with LPA
  • High level issues identified at early stage
  • 'Heads of Terms' identified

Pre Application Consultation (PAC)

  • Consultation with public prior to major planning application submission.
  • Provides opportunity to improve application submission.
  • Statutory requirement of all major applications

Major Planning Application Submission

  • Application submission checklist
  • Validation - within 2 working days of receipt, subject to fee and full information submission
  • Registration of the Application - within 5 working days of receipt


  • Site notice and press publications
  • 21 day consultation
  • Officer Site Visit
  • Heads of Terms confirmed (if applicable)


  • Head of Place and Sustainability Delegated Powers
  • Or Determined by Planning Committee

Legal Agreements

  • A certificate of title and legal fee needs to be rececived before Legal is instructed.
  • Where legal agreements are required applicants will need to have signed the documentation prior to the release of the planning permission.

To enable the efficient and timely determination of Major applications, we strongly encourage the use of our online pre-application service.

This service provides early engagement with the relevant consultees and provides an opportunity to adapt the proposal at an early stage if issues are identified.

Pre application submissions are subject to a 21-day timetable for response unless an extension is agreed.

In line with Welsh Government advice, we strongly advocate early engagement as a way of ensuring the more efficient and timely determination of planning applications. It allows issues to be identified at an early stage and for ‘heads of terms’ to be agreed before the application is submitted so that, if minded to approve, the legal process can be carried out at an earlier stage.

The more detailed the submission, the more advice can be given, so it is advised to carry out:

  • a preliminary ecological survey
  • provide a draft drainage strategy
  • ecological enhancements

so that the constraints can be identified early and the scheme can be designed accordingly without the need for late changes which could affect the scheme.

This stage of the process will provide certainty over what is expected in the main submission and avoid unnecessary delays later in the process.

A pre application submission is very beneficial and the response will provide the following information:

  • The relevant planning history of the site
  • The relevant development plan policies against which the development proposal will be assessed
  • Relevant supplementary planning guidance (e.g. design considerations, conservation and biodiversity, etc.)
  • Any other material planning considerations
  • The views of the case officer that address the merits of the proposal in the context of points such views should be made without prejudice to the formal determination of any subsequent planning application
  • For Major Applications, an indication of heads of terms for any legal agreement along with a Certificate of Title for completion.

Submit your pre-application here 

Once the application is ready to submit, all planning applications as defined as Major will be subject to a Pre Application Consultation (PAC) as set out in Planning (Wales) Act 2015.

This stage will provide an indication of public opinion as well as statutory consultees prior to the scheme being formally submitted for determination.

The contents of the PAC report are prescribed by Welsh Government and need to be strictly adhered to.

Pre Application Consultation 

Having completed stages 1 and 2, you can now submit their major planning application.

Appendix 1 sets out the minimum information required to be submitted for major developments, and every application will be checked to ensure all the necessary information is submitted. Applications which do not provide the information required will be served an invalid notice and will have 14 days to submit the information or appeal the invalid notice. It is therefore critical that applicants ensure all information required in the checklist is enclosed with the major application submission.

Please note that the application will not be validated until the requisite fee has been received and all items in the checklist have been submitted as it is not considered to be a complete application. It is important that the planning fee is paid on submission to avoid delays or the application not being validated

submit you planning application

The timeline from submission is as follows:

  • Receipt of the application and all plans/supporting information along with the planning fee.
  • Validation of the application within 2 working days of receipt.
  • Registration of the application within 5 working days of receipt.
  • Site notices will be sent to Agent for public consultation along with confirmation of registration.
  • 21-day Consultation period starts within 1 working day of registration.
  • Press Notice request sent within 5 working days of registration. (Publication subject to local paper publication timetable).
  • The case officer will visit the site within 7 days of registration
  • The case officer will discuss with internal consultees within 10 days of registration*
  • Public Consultation period ends 21 days from press notice.
  • If minded to approve under delegated powers, Heads of Terms will be confirmed and a Certificate of Title along with legal fee of £1850 will be requested at the close of the consultation period for completion within 7 days.*
  • If the application needs to be reported to Planning Committee, any resolution to approve will be made by Committee.
  • Legal services will be instructed on receipt of the Certificate of Title and Legal Fee.
  • The decision will be issued on completion of the legal agreement (where necessary)
  • The application will be determined either under delegated powers or by planning committee within 8 weeks unless otherwise agreed.

*Provided a pre application submission and PAC have been carried out, issues will have been already identified and resolved.

All applications will be determined by the Head of Place and Sustainability under delegated powers unless one of the one of the following exceptions apply for Major development:

  • More than 5 objections
  • CCC Financial Interest
  • Call in by Local Member

Applications needing to be reported to Planning Committee will be scheduled for the next available committee which operates every four weeks. Please note that such applications may not be determined within the statutory 8-week period due to the consultation and committee timetable, so if that is the case, an appropriate extension of time will be sought between the applicant and the LPA.

planning committee

In accordance with Article 22(1A) of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Wales) Order 2012 (as amended 2016), if a proposal requires amended plans, the scheme can be amended post submission.   This can be as a result of requests from the planning authority or amendments by the applicant.  Please email them to with the application number so that they can be uploaded onto the case file, and copy the case officer for information.  Please do not resubmit via the planning portal.

Please note that there is an additional fee of £230 per amendment that will need to be paid at the time of submission and the determination period is extended to 4 weeks from the date of receipt of the amendment or 12 weeks from the receipt of the application, whichever is the latter.  The extension of time is applied automatically as further consultation is likely to be required. 

Post submission amendments to a scheme are classed as amendments in the form of amended plans and/or amended documents.  For example, where a layout is unacceptable, there may be a series of amended plans and documents to reflect the amendment to the scheme.  This is classed as one amendment.  If further changes are necessary, it will be classed as a further amendment with the requisite fee and extension of time.  It is therefore important to discuss proposals at an early stage through the pre-application service so that the submitted scheme is acceptable.

Legal Agreements are likely to be necessary for all major housing developments and certain other developments if, for example, highway improvements or Caeau Mynydd Mawr payments are applicable.

To enable timely decision making it is encouraged to identify ‘heads of terms’ at pre application stage or alternatively within the 21 day consultation period if the pre application service has not be used.

To speed up the process, a Certificate of Title should be submitted along with the application.

Legal services will not commence preparation of the legal agreement without a signed Certificate of Title, relevant plan and a fee of £1850.

Where a pre application submission is made, heads of terms will be identified and a certificate of title will be forwarded for completion.