Deciding as a family to build an annexe in the back garden for elderly parents or a family member is a major decision.
Multi-generation living in the UK is still a relatively new concept and as such our Local Planning Authorities really do not have any framework to work to when it comes to dealing with a planning application to build an annexe in the back garden.
In Australia, Canada and the USA Granny Flats and Granny Pods are in abundance but in the UK with the current UK planning policy guidelines it is not straight forward and should only be handled by a professional annexe planning consultant. (At IHUS we offer this service with every annexe as part of our service.)
Here are the three top reasons we see planning permission refused (based on our experience and each planning application is dealt with on it’s own merits by each Local Planning Authority and the relevant appointed planning officer,).
Why Planning For Annexes Might Get Refused: Reason Number 1
First and foremost annexes should be ancillary accommodation to the main house.
Our HUSCore range of annexes is designed with this purpose in mind. The annexes we have designed have been developed from our wealth of experience in designing annexes in back gardens over many years.
It is through our extensive experience and working with Local Planning Authorities throughout the UK that we can pretty much determine on our free on site consultation service what is and isn’t likely to be permitted with regards to your ideal annexe design, size and location within the curtilage of your garden.
In general terms your annexe should be:-
Now, everyone thinks their Local Planning Authority are the worst / strictest / least helpful etc but in real terms very few of them have any guidelines to follow with regards to granny annexes and this process is by nature almost doomed to failure if you attempt to deal with this yourself.
It is a sad fact that many granny annexe plans are stopped before they even begin because the main home owner (in all innocence) has contacted their Local Planning Authority for some general advice on whether they could put an annexe in their garden, only to be told “no.”
Today’s Local Planning Authorities are very busy with all the new developments and their resources are stretched to the limit.
Most of them have a pre-planning application option but again unless you have extensive experience with dealing with Local Planning Authorities, this is something best left to the professionals and should carry the warning “please do not try this at home” on it.
Why Planning For Annexes Might Get Refused: Reason Number 2
Sometimes this is where the self-builder in you takes over and tries to design a Grand Designs project on a mini-scale.
And in some cases the Local Planning Authority will approve it and others will not.
Planning Applications are dealt with individually, by individual planning officers and is open to interpretation.
An annexe with two bedrooms, a study, full kitchen, walk-in wardrobes, media room and living area may sound fantastic to all concerned, the reality is that most Local Planning Authorities will not consider that type of annexe ancillary accommodation to the main house. (See reasons why an annexe might get refused point #1)
There are many benefits of building an annexe in your back garden and we have two ways of helping you obtain permission to do so.
When you talk to the experts about annexes and planning permission there is often a solution to your problem that we can help you find.
Why Planning For Annexes Might Get Refused: Reason Number 3
This is rarer because most people living in annexes in the back garden need a bathroom, a small kitchen, a bedroom and living accommodation.
Your Local Planning Authority might disagree or have a policy in place that does not allow for a kitchen at all in some circumstances.
I’m sure you are thinking that sounds ridiculous but it’s been found to be true.
The National Planning Policy (to which every Local Planning Authority refers) actually promotes annexes positively in three ways:-
There are three dimensions to sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. These dimensions give rise to the need for the planning system to perform a number of roles:
We believe that Granny Annexes in back gardens support all 3 and are especially important in developing the social role where families are being brought back to live together, strengthening the community and supplying housing requirements to meet the needs of present and future generations.
Another rare but more adaptable restriction we come across is when proposed annexes are in a conservation area or in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
If we are able to liasaie closely with the relevant Local Planning Authority we can usually find the best way to compromise with regards to the materials used such as in the case of our much admired Aldridge project.
Feeling inspired? Join us for a no cost, no obligation on-site consultation to explore the annexe options available to you.
We’ve built over 150 garden annexes over the years, and have pictures of most completed projects. So, if you need further inspiration, and would like to view further portfolio images, please get in touch.
If you simply have a question for us, please submit your details, along with a quick message, and we’ll back to you ASAP. You can also reach us on 0808 1641111 or email us at email@example.com