New Government policy helps turn granny annexes into separate homes

The Government has just updated its rules making it easier to get planning permission to turn a “granny annexe” into a separate dwelling.

The Government sets out national planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF was updated in July.

One change relates to granny annexes, i.e. a building within the garden of a house that provides additional accommodation space for a relative, an office or a holiday let. These annexes normally include conditions restricting their use as a separate dwelling, but the new NPPF makes it easier to get these conditions removed, and use them or sell them as a separate dwelling.

Paragraph 79 of the new NPPF restricts “the development of isolated homes in the countryside” unless a series of conditions are met. One of these is that there is an essential need for a rural worker to live there (see earlier blogs), but the new condition allows “the subdivision of an existing residential dwelling.”

An application to remove a condition restricting the use of an annexe as a separate dwelling was refused and taken to appeal recently. The Inspector decided that the new paragraph 79 meant that national planning policy allowed the use of the annexe as a separate house, so they allowed the appeal.

If you have a house in the countryside, and you have an annexe or holiday home in the garden, there is a chance that you could now get planning permission to use it as a separate dwelling.

Get in touch with Vision Planning to find out more.

(If you do get in touch via email, it would be great if you could include either the application reference and Council area, or the property address in the email.  Then we can give a more helpful response.)