Granny Annexe Planning
An integral part of our service is obtaining the necessary permissions from your local planning authority (LPA) to legally build your annexe. Granny annexe planning permission is achieved with a householder application or via the Caravan Act.
1. Householder Application
A householder application is our preferred method of obtaining permission to build your granny annexe.
The majority of these applications are decided under ‘devolved authority’, where the case officer and the LPA management team will make the decision — it’s quite rare for a full planning committee to make a decision.
Each LPA has it’s own adopted policies and conditions, meaning that no two applications are the same. And whilst there are national guidelines in place, each LPA has its own over-riding local adopted policies
A number of specialist surveys may be required to support the application, including: arboricultural (tree), ecological (wildlife), topological (ground levels), flood risk assessments, archaeological surveys, or a heritage report if it’s a listed building. All involve a separate fee payable to the specialist company undertaking the survey.
If the main property is in a conservation area, national park, green belt, area of special or specific scientific interest, or outstanding natural beauty, the LPA conservation officer will be involved and can heavily influence what can be built and how it looks.
A planning notice is issued when any application is successful — it will always have a number of conditions attached to it that must be adhered to. The notice may also be issued with “pre commencement” conditions, in this instance, all conditions have to be officially discharged, which may incur fees.
If an application is refused, we will review the reasons for refusal and advise on next steps. Generally speaking, we will recommend one of the following three options: (1) submit an amended application; (2) submit your original drawings as part of a new Caravan Act application; or (3) appeal the decision.
2. The Caravan Act
A caravan (mobile home) is a structure designed/adapted for human habitation.
There are three tests that a mobile home must pass to comply with the Act: (1) maximum dimensions; (2) method of construction; and (3) that it must, when constructed, be capable of been transported by road. All of our annexes can be built to achieve these criteria.
So, if we can’t achieve granny annexe planning permission with a homeowner application, we can submit a Caravan Act application. If successful, the LPA will issue a Certificate of Lawfulness (COL) — the permission we need to build.
We don’t use permitted development as an option — it doesn’t work for annexes and is intended for outbuildings such as a home office. As soon as a kitchen or a bathroom is added, the building falls outside of the required criteria for approval. Permitted development also has severe restrictions of external eaves heights, making internal ceiling heights extremely low.
PWC Ltd — a Government approved Building Control company — inspect all of our work to ensure it meets/exceeds the standards set by Building Regulations.
Planning Process & Timescales
We prepare and submit your application to the LPA. Once verified (which can take up to four weeks), the planning application process takes eight weeks. Here’s how it works…
Weeks 1 to 3. Public Consultation: The LPA will write to your neighbours, Parish Council (if you have one), Ward Councillors, Highways and Water Agency asking for their comments on the application. Any objections should be logged with the LPA during this period — they tend to not accept comments after this date.
Weeks 4 to 8. A case officer will look after your application up to its decision date (known as the ‘target resolution date’) at the end of the 8 week period.
We actively engage with the case officer during this period to address any concerns during the process and ensure that the application has the best chance of being granted. Any changes required by the LPA will be fully discussed with you prior to them being agreed with the LPA.
If you would like to learn more about our granny annexe planning service, please send us a quick message below or call us on 0808 164 11 11.