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24th July 2020

Granny annexes – What to consider


24th July 2020

Granny annexes – What to consider

Granny annexes can be a popular option and can provide valuable extra space to accommodate additional family members, for example older relatives or adult children. If you are considering adding to your property to make more room, perhaps for existing occupants or to provide a home for other members of your family, this could be a great option for you.

Where to start

Consider the options for your property and family. How do you want to use the accommodation? Does it need to be on one level? Where could it be located? What might the planning considerations be?

Do you need planning permission for granny annexes?

Understanding the planning requirements for an annexe is an important step in considering your proposals.

In some cases, annexes are provided as a separate building within the garden, in others the accommodation is attached to the existing dwelling. Planning permission would be required to provide separate accommodation, however, depending on your specific property, it may be possible to extend, to provide an extra bedroom and bathroom, for example, through permitted development rights.

Obtaining early planning advice can help you consider the possibilities for your specific property, as well as the type of consent required.

Generally, ‘granny annexes’ should be appropriate in scale and be well related to the existing house. In practice, this could mean that the annexe is located in close proximity, or that some facilities are shared. Any planning consent granted may include a condition restricting the occupation of the accommodation, to ensure that it remains ancillary to your existing home.

Your Local Planning Authority may have a specific planning policy for annexes and there is complex case law regarding when a proposal is considered ancillary accommodation rather than an independent dwelling.

Planning advice will provide you with information regarding the relevant planning policies for your area, as well as the issues to be taken in to account, such as, design, level of accommodation and neighbour impact. This will help you consider the best options for the additional space you need.

Getting the right advice

Paris Smith Planning Lawyers and Planning Consultants can support you in considering the options for adding an annexe to your home.

We can provide pre-application advice and guidance regarding the information that will be required to submit your proposal, as well as the relevant planning policy to be considered. We can assist you in preparing you application as well as providing planning legal advice.

For more information, please contact Bev Harding-Rennie, Planning Consultant, Paris Smith on 023 8048 2393 or email


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