Do I need planning permission for my annexe?

A granny or garden annexe is a type of outbuilding that is used to provide accommodation for a family member or other close relative. It is important to note that planning permission is not always required for an annexe.

Permitted development rights for an annexe building

Under UK law, certain types of development can be carried out without planning permission. This is known as permitted development rights. As a general rule, a building that will be used as primary living accommodation will need planning permission. This includes an outbuilding to be used as a bedroom or a separate self-contained accommodation.  

Planning permission

To apply for planning permission, you will need to submit an application to your local planning authority. The application will need to include detailed plans and drawings of the annexe, as well as a statement explaining why you need planning permission.

Getting expert advice

It is always a good idea to seek expert advice before starting any development project, including building an annexe. Your chosen manufacturer can point you in the right direction, and a planning consultant can help you determine whether or not you need planning permission and can assist you with the application process.

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Tips for writing a successful planning application

  • Seek expert advice for your annexe building. It is advisable to seek advice from a planning consultant before submitting a planning application. A planning consultant can help you assess the feasibility of your project, prepare a strong application, and advise you on the likelihood of your project being approved.
  • Prepare your application. Your planning application must include all of the required documentation, such as plans, drawings, and a planning statement. You can find more information on the planning application process for your garden annexe and the required documentation on the Planning Portal website.
  • Submit your application. You can submit your planning application online or by post. Once you have submitted your application, the planning authority will review it to make sure it is complete and valid.
  • Public consultation. The planning authority will publish your application on their website and invite local residents to comment on it. The public consultation period usually lasts for 21 days.
  • Site visit. A planning officer may visit your site to assess the proposal.
  • Planning decision. The planning authority will consider all of the relevant factors, including the public comments, before making a decision on your application. The planning authority will notify you of their decision in writing.

Top 3 considerations for gaining planning permission for an annexe:

  • Design the annexe to be sympathetic to the main house and its surroundings. The annexe should be in keeping with the scale, style, and materials of the main house and the surrounding area.
  • Make sure that the annexe is truly ancillary to the main house. The occupants of the annexe must have a close relationship with the occupants of the main house.
  • Consider your neighbours and the surrounding area. Will the annexe have any negative impacts on your neighbours' properties or the character of the area?

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Other important considerations:

  • Share facilities with the main dwelling, such as water, sewage, internet, and TV. This will help to show that the annexe is ancillary to the main house and is not a separate dwelling in its own right.
  • Provide access to the annexe through existing access arrangements. This will help to minimise the impact of the annexe on the surrounding area.
  • Check whether your property is in a Conservation Area, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or is a Listed Building. If it is, you may need to obtain additional planning permission for the garden annexe.
  • Consider the parking requirements for the annexe. Some councils have parking standards that you will need to comply with.
  • The size and scale of the annexe. The annexe should be substantially smaller than the main house and should not be so large that it could be considered a separate dwelling in its own right.
  • The materials and construction of the annexe. The annexe should be constructed using high-quality materials and should be built to a high standard.
  • The impact of the annexe on the environment. The annexe building should be designed and constructed in a way that minimises its impact on the environment. For example, you may want to consider using renewable energy sources to power the annexe.

Find your perfect garden annexe with Pod Space

It is important to note that every planning application is judged on its own merits, so there is no guarantee that following these tips will guarantee planning permission for your annexe. However, by taking these factors into account, you can increase your chances of success.

To make it simple, at Pod Space, we have categorised our buildings as Living Pods and Garden Pods. Living Pods are highly likely to require planning permission as they are self-contained buildings, complete with bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, with the intention of sleeping in. Our Garden Pods are lifestyle buildings (still built to the same high standards) but are not intended to be lived in and used as garden offices, gyms or indeed any activity you can think of.

If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

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