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Granny Annexes & Conservation Laws

If the idea of a granny annexe is one that interest you, you will have no doubt already had several thoughts about planning permission.

Granny annexe planning permission is usually very straightforward – it’s something we include with our service and most customers gain planning approval with no issues.

However, if you live in a conservation area or area of outstanding natural beauty, you will already know that planning laws are much stricter and may even know of neighbours who have had planning refused for projects.

The good news is it isn’t impossible to gain planning permission. It just takes a little more consideration and a good understanding of what is and isn’t allowed in the area you live in.

What Is A Conservation Area?

A conservation area is an area which is of special architectural or historic importance – the area must be conserved to keep the qualities it is renowned for. The 1990 Planning Act defines the quality of a conservation area as being: “the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance”.

Conservation areas are part of a protected group of sites or buildings known as Designated Areas. Designated areas also include:

  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
  • National Parks
  • World Heritage Sites

Designated areas that are considered conservation areas and AONBs (or both) are likely to have inhabitants who may wish to make changes to their homes, therefore changing the character or qualities of the area. Therefore planning is stricter than in non-designated areas.

There is a significant benefit to living in one of these areas – mainly because they’re beautiful or historic locations but homeowners can run into issues when it comes to altering their property or adding extra space, such as a granny annexe. It is something to consider before choosing to live in such an area.

an area of outstanding natural beauty

However, contrary to popular belief, you can make alternations to your home and even build in these areas – so long as your planned project either enhances the looks of the area or doesn’t detract from its special qualities.

In other words – negatively affect the look and feel of the area.

Can I Build A Granny Annexe In A Conservation Area?

If you are looking to add a granny annexe or garden annexe to your property and live in a designated area, the good news is that you most likely can build a granny annexe so long as the finished structure is sympathetic to the environment it sits in and doesn’t alter any views.

As mentioned, granny annexe planning permission is included as part of our service and this includes customers living in conservation areas. We work with clients to ensure that any plans are in keeping with your local area before submitting them for consideration. Our planning specialist will work with your local authority to make any amends required and reach compromises that ensure both yours and any local planning laws needs are satisfied.

How do we do this?

As most planning restriction in conservation areas are concerned with looks, we can adapt our designs to ensure they meet local planning restrictions. This can be something as simple as adding a pitched roof to your annexe (if other local buildings are in that style) or adding cladding in a specific colour to match existing buildings. Other times planning laws can be satisfied by simply adding screening somewhere on your property to ensure your annexe can’t be seen by anyone outside of the property.

We also make bespoke annexes to fit exact requirements using materials that fit with your local area. Adding a wooden shingle roof for example, or speciality cladding that matches other buildings in your area such as slate or a specific timber.

As mentioned, it is entirely possible to build a granny annexe in a conservation area, it just requires a little bit of tweaking and getting to grips with the specific qualities required by your local authority.

If you require any more information about building an annexe in a conservation area, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and one of our consultants will be happy to offer you advice.