Section 106: Planning obligations

Page updated on: 31/08/2023

What are Planning Obligations?

As part of the planning process, a developer may be required to enter into a legal agreement where this is not possible to achieve through planning conditions.  These legal agreements are also known as Planning Obligations or Section 106 Agreements and they are secured pursuant to Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).

What are they used for?

Planning Obligations can cover almost any relevant issue, acting as a main instrument for placing restrictions on developers, often requiring them to minimise the impact on the local community and to carry out tasks which will provide community benefits, and can include the payment of sums of money.

They are commonly used to bring developments in line with the objectives of sustainable development. Examples of types of infrastructure or services that planning obligations can include are:

  • Highway Improvements
  • Provision of Affordable Housing
  • Improved community facilities – e.g. Public open space/ play areas, educational facilities
  • Specific measures to mitigate impact on a local area – e.g. parking restrictions, habitat protection or management
  • Restrictions and obligations on the use of land

This list is not exhaustive. Each planning application is dealt with individually on its merits and restrictions and requirements not on this list, may also be needed.

Planning Obligations are usually used in the context of planning applications between the Local Planning Authority (LPA) and persons with an interest in the land (Section 106 Agreement).  However, Planning Obligations can also be given unilaterally to the Council by the persons with an interest in the land; these are known as Unilateral Undertakings (UU).

A UU is a commitment offered by the applicant to the LPA with the intention of overcoming any obstacles that may arise which are preventing the granting of a planning permission and to speed up the legal process and determination of planning applications.

Planning Obligations - Supplementary Planning Guidance

The Council’s approach to planning obligations is set out in Policy GP3 ‘Planning Obligations’ of the Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan.  Further detail on the implementation of this policy is provided in the Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) as well as in the Affordable Housing SPG, Caeau Mynydd Mawr Special Area of Conservation SPG and the Leisure and Open Space – Requirements for New Developments SPG.

These are available on the Supplementary Planning Guidance webpage.


The Local Authority will monitor planning obligations to ensure that they are complied with in full by the developer and the Council. It should be noted that it is the responsibility of the developer to notify the Authority upon commencement of development and also when any triggers specified in the agreement are reached.