5 Myths Busted About Granny Annexe And Planning

With Google searches creating more confusion than ever before, here are our top 5 most frequently mis-understood things about granny annexes and planning.


Myth #1: Granny Annexes Do Not Require Planning Permission

You have probably seen an advert, read an article somewhere or seen a headline on a website saying “Granny Annexes No Planning Required!”

Annexes are typically built as mobile homes and can therefore be built with either Planning Permission or by obtaining a Certificate of Lawfulness.

You will ALWAYS need relevant permission from your Local Planning Authority to put an annexe in your garden. 

If a member of your family is going to live in the annexe, you need permission.

If you build an annexe without either a Certificate of Lawfulness or Planning Permission you run the risk of being forced to take it down again.

Assuming it is classed as ancillary accommodation or permitted development is a very high risk strategy that is not something we recommend.


Myth #2: You Can Put An Annexe In A Paddock Or Field Near Where You Live

Annexes must always be sited within the curtilage of your garden.

If you have a field or paddock (not defined as your garden) it is very unlikely your LPA will approve your annexe application unless you move it to within the curtilage of your garden.

Your Local Planning Authority may also request that the annexe be sited as near to the main house as possible.

This rule also applies to a Certificate of Lawfulness and siting a mobile home.

You will also need to leave at least 50% of your existing garden as garden and be wary of existing extensions and outbuildings in your overall calculations of available plot size.


Myth #3: An Annexe Is A Separate Dwelling In The Garden

Your Local Planning Authority may have a written policy in place with regards to what they determine to be an annexe.

In ALL cases (without exception) an annexe MUST be considered ancillary to the main house by your LPA. For example:-

  • No separate postcode.
  • Shared services to the main house.
  • Used by a family member.
  • Can never sold separately.
  • Limited or restricted in size and facilities (in some cases).
  • There must be a need for the annexe

Annexe planning is a very specialised area and should not be attempted by the home owner.


Myth #4: Annexes Are Just Like A Bungalow Or Cottage In The Garden

Good, high quality annexes look like bungalows in the back garden don’t they?

Especially the ones with pitched roofs that look like a real little cottage in the garden.

Annexes are classed and built as mobile homes and are therefore zero rated for vat purposes (saving you thousands of pounds by the way).

With annexes classed as mobile homes they are considered temporary buildings by your LPA (like an outbuilding). So dismiss any thoughts that you are building a self-build style Grand Designs inspired bungalow as a separate dwelling in the garden as it is highly unlikely to get planning permission granted as an annexe.


Myth #5: I Can Design An Annexe To My Exact Specification

Most of our customers watch Grand Designs on a regular basis and it’s easy to see how designing and building an annexe from scratch can feel a lot like Grand Designs on a smaller scale – because in many ways it is!

However in our experience most Local Planning Authorities will question the following when considering an annexe planning application:-

  • The overall size (is it too big?)
  • How many bedrooms? (do you need 2?)
  • Level of facilities (kitchen in particular)
  • Is it ancillary to the main house?
  • Position of the annexe in proximity to the main house.
  • Who is going to be living in the annexe now and in the future.
  • Whether there is a need for an annexe as opposed to an extension to the main house.

If facilities and number of bedrooms are important factors to you and your annexe opt for a lodge style annexe, built to BS3632 and a Certificate of Lawfulness instead.

Here’s why we think lodge style annexes are the easiest route for most people who are thinking about an annexe for a family member. Start Here.


We Offer Free Onsite Consultations To Help You Plan & Design Your Dream Annexe

We’re available to discuss all aspects of your project:

  • Planning Permission
  • Floor plans
  • Mains Services & Connections
  • Sizes
  • Styles Available
  • Budgets & Costings

All you have to do is CONTACT US.

If you want a friendly chat about your project over a cup of tea, try us out!

With the Summer days with us now outdoor & social distancing is so much easier!

You’ve got nothing to lose & everything to gain.

Stay safe & we’ll be glad to assist you in anyway we can.

Until then, all the best!

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