How the Planning System works

By scrolling down, you can refer to the following:-

  1. Planning Authority
  2. Planning Documents
  3. Community Council & Applications
  4. Council & Public Comments
  5. County Council Planning Decisions
  6. Planning Appeals
  7. Planning Enforcement
  8. Forward Planning – Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan
  9. Planning Aid Wales


1. PLANNING AUTHORITY: Carmarthenshire County Council is the planning authority for the county and is the only body that can make decisions on planning applications. To search for a specific planning application by reference number, visit the Carmarthenshire County Council Planning Portal.


2. PLANNING DOCUMENTS: A page is created on the County Council’s website for each planning application when it is accepted as a valid application. All the application documents, and all comments on the application, can be viewed from that page and there is a link to an online comment form.

3. COMMUNITY COUNCIL & APPLICATIONS: Your Community Council is entitled to comment on planning applications, but cannot make a decision on them. Every planning application that relates to land and buildings in Llansteffan and Llanybri Wards is considered at meetings of the Community Council. All planning applications for consideration are listed on Council notice boards, alongside the notices for Council meetings. Members of the public are welcome to attend and are generally invited to make statements in accordance with Standing Orders, including those supporting or opposing a planning application. Councillors will then discuss and vote on the comments to be made by the Council on each application.

4. COUNCIL & PUBLIC COMMENTS: The Council sends its comments to the County Council to meet the consultation deadline. Comments must relate to material planning considerations (can be found here) and Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan policies (can be found here). Members of the public can also submit comments to the County Council. Anonymous comments will not be taken into account.

5. COUNTY COUNCIL PLANNING DECISIONS: A decision will then be made on the application. Whilst a large proportion of decisions are made by a planning officer (employee) of the County Council, the more complex and/or controversial applications are decided by the County Planning Committee. You can see Carmarthenshire County Council’s Code of Conduct for Planning Committee Members here. If the decision is to be made by the Committee, the meeting will be advertised and Community Council representatives and members of the public can attend and make comments subject to prior application. However if the decision is made by an officer, it will be made in private and only written comments will be considered.

6. PLANNING APPEALS: If planning permission is refused, or is granted subject to conditions, the applicant may appeal to the Planning Inspectorate (an independent body). However neither the Community Council nor anyone else opposed to a planning application can appeal if planning permission is granted.

7. PLANNING ENFORCEMENT: Carmarthenshire County Council is also responsible for ‘enforcement’ action, for example where development has taken place without planning permission. The Community Council is not invited to comment on such action. Complaints about unauthorised development should be made direct to Carmarthenshire County Council.


ldpThe Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan (LDP) was adopted at the meeting of the County Council on the 10th December 2014. The Written Statement can be found here. The LDP sets out the spatial vision for the future of Carmarthenshire (excluding that area within the Brecon Beacons national Park) and a framework for the distribution and delivery of growth and development.

It sets out land-use planning policies and proposals which are used in the determination of planning applications and in guiding future opportunities for investment and growth.

These policies include land-use allocations for different types of development (i.e. housing, employment, retailing, education, open space etc.) as well as criteria for assessing individual proposals.  The Plan has a direct effect on the lives of every resident of the County as well as major implications on investment programmes, other plans and strategies, communities and landowners alike.

The LDP, will guide development up to 2021, and will be monitored in accordance with the monitoring framework and periodically reviewed. The adopted LDP supersedes the Unitary Development Plan.

The LDP Proposals Map for Llansteffan (Sustainable Community 16) can be viewed here, and the LDP Proposals Map for Llanybri (Sustainable Community 16) can be viewed here.


Planning Aid Wales is an independent charity providing planning aid services in Wales. With funding support from Welsh Government, it works to help individuals and communities engage more effectively with the planning system. Staff provide impartial information and guidance via a website, guidance publications, an advice helpline and training programmes. They also work with planning authorities and Welsh Government to encourage meaningful community involvement in the planning process. When seeking to influence national policy development, Planning Aid Wales aims to make the planning system more accessible and equitable by removing barriers to community involvement.

Services are delivered by a small staff team supported by a Wales-wide network of around 70 planning and community volunteers. For more information, please visit here