Blog relating to planning permission for garden annexes

Can You Build An Annexe In Your Garden Without Planning Permission?

A key part of our service here at Family Annexe is to obtain permission from your LPA (Local Planning Authority) so that we can build your annexe. And we usually achieve this with a Householder Application and the ‘Caravan Act’.

Annexes can transform the lives of many families because of the building allowing the family to stay close together. Plus, it provides peoples’ loved ones to remain independent whilst also having their privacy and own space.

So not only is the loved one happy, but also the rest of the family members. They can have peace of mind knowing that their relative is safe and close by in case they ever need extra support.

You can build your annexe as long as you stick to the permitted development rules.

Why Do I Need Planning Permission For My Annexe?

Granny annexes are often considered outbuildings and incidental to the property. This is something that dictates whether planning permission is necessary.

Annexes are deemed to be incidental as the reason for building is usually to provide extra space or a private area for a loved one, to keep them close and let them be independent. Being incidental just means that the annexe acts as another room of the house. Therefore, it may be built under permitted development rights.

But don’t worry, our team will be able to provide you with all the legal information you need to know surrounding your annexe plans. We’ll even get planning permission for you.

The Householder Application Method

Family Annexe’s preferred method of obtaining granny annexe planning permission is through a Householder Application. Most applications that are made are decided by a case officer. This officer has approval that’s granted by your Local Planning Authority (LPA). Each local authority has its own approach to planning policies and guidance. So make sure you know your LPA beforehand – find it here.

Although each authority has individual approaches, the actual process is the same across the UK. But if you live in conservation areas – national parks or green belts, sites of special scientific interest or areas of outstanding natural beauty – you will be given guidance by a conservation officer. They will be able to inform you of what is and is not allowed.

As mentioned previously, our planning experts at FA work with your case officer so you don’t have to worry about queries or additional information. We want the annexe process to be incredibly stress-free and relaxing for our customers.

Once planning permission is granted, a planning notice is issued. However, if the initial application is not successful then the FA team will review and provide reasons why. Sometimes, it just means fixing minor issues or amending the application. Typically, we will appeal the decision before moving on to the Caravan Act.

The Caravan Act

The Caravan Act was introduced in 1968 and specifies what a caravan is and what can lawfully be kept on your property. Luckily, our annexe models meet the parameters set out in the Caravan Act. In the eyes of the law, a fully functioning home connected to utilities can be classes as a caravan.

Because we aim to bring you peace of mind throughout this whole process, we do obtain a Certificate of Lawfulness from your LPA. This proves that your annexe is lawfully situated no matter where abouts it is in the garden. These certificates are also known as Lawful Development Certificates (LDC).

And should you wish to sell your property in the future, an LDC is very handy as you can show it to your buyers’ solicitor or mortgage provider as proof of lawfulness.

Our Planning Timeline

The planning application process takes, roughly, eight weeks.

Once your LPA receive your application, they will review it to check its validity. Then, when it’s been validated, your LPA will publicise and consult on the application. They will notify your neighbours though we recommend you do that beforehand in the interest of good relations.

During that time, your application will be with a case officer for review. Most applications are decided within eight weeks but they can take up to thirteen weeks if the case is more complex.

After those weeks are up, the LPA will usually give a likely timetable for the application. Throughout this whole process, Family Annexe will keep updating you and let you know the target decision date as soon as we have it.

Family Annexe: Contact Us

For anyone who wants to stay close to home and maintain their privacy and independence, an annexe is an excellent alternative.

Not only are they good providers for extra space, but they’re suitable living units for your elderly relatives or relatives with disabilities. That way, you don’t have to worry about looking for a house that meets your requirements. You tell us what you need and we can build it.

Reach out for more information on our services, annexes, and our efficient seven-step process.

You can call on 0330 1332 668 or email We’re happy to help.