Planning Obligations

Unilateral Undertakings (Guidance, Notes & Template)

If you have been asked to complete a unilateral undertaking in order to secure certain planning contributions, a template is available which sets out the standard clauses used in such planning obligations together with guidance notes below.

The template for the unilateral undertaking is only suitable for small-scale developments. If the application relates to large developments, involves significant financial contributions or includes affordable housing, please contact legal services in order for them to provide the applicant with an alternative version.

Please note completing and returning this document does not mean your application will be approved.

Unilateral undertaking

A unilateral undertaking is a legal document made pursuant to Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This document provides that if you receive planning permission and decide to implement the development, you must make certain payments to us in the form of planning contributions. As this is a legal document, you may want to take independent legal advice before agreeing to it.

  • A unilateral undertaking can ONLY be entered in to by the OWNER of the land to be developed and therefore if you do not own the land to which the application relates, you will need to ask the owner to enter in to this.
  • If the land is owned by more than one person, each owner must enter.
  • All those with an interest in the land must be made a party.  If the land is charged to a mortgagee, for example, they will need to be made a party and you will need to contact them at an early stage to determine whether or not they are prepared to enter into the document and who you need to send it to in order for them to sign.
  • In order to determine who owns or has an interest in the land, you may be able to obtain title from the Land Registry.

Planning contributions

A planning contribution is a financial payment collected by local authorities and used to mitigate the impact of new development. 

We have adopted a planning obligations strategy which explains the need for planning contributions, how they are calculated and when they will need to be paid. Read the Planning Obligations SPD for more information.

This unilateral undertaking only takes effect on the grant of planning permission and therefore if your application is refused, you will not be required to pay any contributions.

Completing the document

In order to complete the unilateral undertaking you must complete, amend or delete (as appropriate) ALL of the sections shown coloured red.  All changes should be done before the document is printed.  Hand amendments will not be accepted.

You will need the following information in order to complete the document:

  • the name and address of each owner
  • the name and address of each mortgagee
  • a description of the site
  • the Council’s reference number
  • a description of the development
  • the type and amount of each contribution required and their amount
  • the Land Registry title number

If the land is not charged to a mortgagee/chargee you will need to delete all references to the chargee; if you have not been asked to pay a particular contribution, you will need to delete all references to that contribution.

A copy of the location plan submitted with your application must be attached to each unilateral undertaking after the second page.  This must show the application site edged red.

The unilateral undertaking must also be properly signed:

  • If the land is owned by a registered company, either two directors or one director and its secretary must sign. If only one director is available, then that director may sign if his signature is witnessed.
  • If the land is owned by an individual, then their signature must also be witnessed.
  • In the template, there are a number of example signature blocks and you must select the most appropriate and delete those that do not apply.
  • If you have a mortgage, your lender may want to use their standard signature block.

Sending the completed documents to us

You will need to send the following documents to the planning officer:

  • two copies of the signed and dated unilateral undertaking containing original signatures with a copy of the application site plan shown edged red attached after the second page
  • up to date Land Registry title to the land

Please note that a reasonable charge will be levied on completed agreements as our legal services will need to check and handle the signing and sealing of the agreement.

Last Modified: 08/11/2022 12:45:55

Land Registry

Visit the Land Registry website to check the ownership of a property.

Telephone: 0844 892 1111