Planning permission 'granny annex'

(22 Posts)
Nessa104 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:28:36

Hello everyone, I have a problem. My mother is not in the best of health, and her bungalow has a Large equity release hanging over it. In her garden she has a chalet .. Independent of the house, which has a kitchenette, bathroom, and sleeping area. We need to move closer to her to look after her. I will sell my home and purchase her bungalow by paying off the Large equity release. She wants to move into the 'chalet' to keep some independence. And I agree we will need space too. BUT where do we stand legally. ie council tax? As his chalet has been quite often occupied by different family members and been in existence since 1972, ( but mum bought bungalow in 1992) how do we stand?
I await your replys.

Millyboluba Fri 11-Feb-11 22:43:08

Interesting article on purpose built detached granny annexes here.

http://plainview.co.uk/?p=523

It does seem to be a bit of a battle with planning authorities.

Good luck

artyjools Wed 02-Feb-11 10:35:55

It is a completely ridiculous situation, as I pointed out to my MP (and to be fair, I think he was quite sympathetic). Clearly, it would be quite right to charge the extra council tax if it were being used as a separate dwelling e.g. if one of your kids was living there independently. But the government are quite keen on persuading us to care for our elderly relatives at home, and this is going to be come increasingly necessary as the population ages. If it is going to be hard to sell on once you have created a granny annex, people will have to think twice.

For us, having a granny annex already set up should be a bonus. We have three kids and can use the extra space now for all their clobber and for a hobby of mine which takes up some space. In the future, we MAY need it for one of our parents. But we can't pay double tax now, and how stupid would it be to have expensive building works to effectively destroy facilities which make the extra space into an annex, only to have to reinstate them later on?

Honestly, the foolishness of it makes my blood boil. Perhaps we need a Mumsnet campaign?

MumInBeds Wed 02-Feb-11 07:37:39

There was a very sad case locally where there was an annex with an internal door but because it had its own kitchen and bathroom the council could charge for it as a separate dwelling.

The owners hadn't realised and one of them was in end stage cancer but the council insisted. Local tradespeople came in for free to take the kitchen and bathroom out of function for free for them.

FourArms Wed 02-Feb-11 07:17:38

Yes, that seems to be the case according to this factsheet. Moral of story - if building a granny annex, put the entrance in the lounge!

FourArms Wed 02-Feb-11 07:04:54

Gosh, that's a bit scary, we've looked at lots of places with annexes and didn't realise that. Is that the case even if you have internal connecting doors?

artyjools Tue 01-Feb-11 17:02:19

Just one other thing about annexes, which won't affect you but may affect whoever purchases the house from you. If you intend to build a proper annex, with its own door to the outside and bathing and kitchen facilities, it will not be counted as a separate dwelling for council tax purposes whilst your mother lives in it or even after she ceases to live in it. However, when it is sold on, the purchasers will be liable for two lots of council tax on the house even if they intend to use it as part of the family home UNLESS they carry out fairly drastic works such as digging out the drains to the annex bathroom and kitchen. Stopping of the gas supply or converting the kitchen into a utility room is not enough.

I know this as we are looking for a new house and I researched the matter after seeing a house with an annex. I even wrote to my MP who took it up with the relevant council and the relevant Minister. I would be very wary about buying a house with an annex because two lots of council tax around these parts would be the straw that broke the camel's back!! Of course, very few people know about this and estate agents aren't going to tell you. However, annexes are becoming more popular so the news will get out sooner or later (or they will do the sensible thing and change the law!!).

WithManyTots Tue 01-Feb-11 16:16:36

oops.. how did that happen!!!

WithManyTots Tue 01-Feb-11 16:16:11

The best place to look is the Government's Planning Portal
www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/

Advice on garages is here

www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonproject s/garageconversion

The headline is:
"Planning permission is not usually required, providing the work is internal and does not involve enlarging the building."

But you should read it youself to check the details

WithManyTots Tue 01-Feb-11 16:15:25

The best place to look is the Government's Planning Portal
www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/

Advice on garages is here

www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonproject s/garageconversion

The headline is:
"Planning permission is not usually required, providing the work is internal and does not involve enlarging the building."

But you should read it for yourself to check the details

sewingmachinist Tue 01-Feb-11 15:13:59

We have been trying for planning permission with Bristol Council for nearly 12 months with no luck at all [or help] It was for a granny annexe in our son and daughter-in-laws garden. They will allow an extenion to the house on the garden side. Were we want to build is on the drive side, which they say will be too cramped.[we don't think so as its 2metres away from the perimetors fence. Its like hitting your head against a brick wall. We live 3 and half hours are 66 years old and don't have any family left here.

RacingSnake Wed 13-Jan-10 22:00:14

Bit like how people feel about teachers then - not many people bother to say nice things!

maxmissie Tue 12-Jan-10 22:41:52

onlyaphase you've just about summed it up! The earlier you can talk to the planners the better as they are usually happy to talk to and advise people and it makes it a lot easier if you are early on in the process and haven't approached them at the last minute as it means all your ideas can be considered properly and there is probably more scope for flexibility and compromise if required.

racingsnake I think you are right that people who have got what they wanted or ended up with a compromise probably don't tell people whereas those that had stuff turned down will easily moan about how bad the planning officers were!

And no planning officers don't try and stop people from doing anything at all, we approve loads more stuff than we turn down! It's just the stuff that's turned down is the only stuff you hear about! Can you tell I'm a planning officer yet! grin

Onlyaphase Tue 12-Jan-10 19:41:59

I think that an informal chat with a planning officer whilst looking around your property about what might be possible and what will be more difficult, will be very useful. We might just have been lucky in the departments we have dealt with previously (in Durham and Essex) but we've always found the planning people a source of good advice if asked early in the process whilst you are formulating your ideas

Maybe the unhappy people didn't speak to the planning department first and so put in plans that were rejected?

RacingSnake Tue 12-Jan-10 18:33:22

Hmmm. Things to think about. I'm afraid I have always (on no evidence whatsoever) assumed that planning officers would be doing whatever they could to stop you doing anything. I hadn't thought of them as a friendly source of advice. I suppose that is just from hearsay from people who have had their ideas turned down and want to gripe. Maybe happy contented neighbours with friendly p.o.s don't go round talking about it.

We are just off the edge of the AONB and our house is not listed - an advantage to living in mediocre countryside in an ugly house!

Will go and snoop persuse the neighbours' planning tonight.

mistlethrush Mon 11-Jan-10 21:58:59

Actually, the main text that Daisy linked to is fine - but don't necessarily believe what any of the adds on the page might say!!!

There are also other potential issues - its definitely one to contact the Planning Dept from your local council about.

You would need Building Regs consent whether or not you need planning consent....

Onlyaphase Mon 11-Jan-10 21:43:10

We did something very similar a couple of years ago. My father converted his attached garage into a one bed apartment for him and we moved into his house.

The main issue for us was that the house was listed, and so we had more hoops to go through due to that. The actual planning permission was easy to get in comparison, as we weren't planning on building a separate dwelling to use/rent/sell, but instead we were increasing dwelling space in the one house. The local authority was happy with this increase in dwelling space, as long as it was all contained in the one house. In actuality, the new one bed apartment is attached to the house but has separate doors and there are no internal communicating doors.

It might be worth making sure this bit is clear (about increasing dwelling space rather than building a new additional dwelling) is clear when you get the planning officer around for an initial visit

Good luck !

LackaDAISYcal Mon 11-Jan-10 21:43:01

oops, thought I was helping!

I linked that site as it agreed with my understanding of the planning laws my role as a structural engineer who has had to make applications in the past. It goes without saying that one should check with the local planning office and not just take the advice of an anonymous internet page.

maxmissie Mon 11-Jan-10 21:23:38

I would treat some of the stuff on the website suggested by LackaDAISYcal with caution - you usually don't need planning permission to convert a garage to a granny annexe or other type of room. It will depend if there are any conditions on the original planning permission for the house restricting the use of the garage to a garage only or requiring a certain number of parking spaces to be provided at the property. If there aren't any such conditions then you shouldn't need permission. I would suggest that you contact your planning office at the council and get them to provide something in writing saying whether you do or don't need permission. You'll also need to check whether any external alterations need permission, as well as the double garage, as the rules on garages etc needing permission changed about a year ago.

Fizzylemonade Mon 11-Jan-10 20:57:20

Where we are in Leeds you are allowed (planning wise) to do a LOT of single storey extensions but they have really clamped down on 2 storey.

If your neighbours have recently extended and built double garages then depending on your council you may be able to view the plans on-line.

Go onto your council website, into planning and we have a "public access" bit and you can search on a property, it then has their plans but only if they were on in the last year or two. It means you can see dimensions etc.

Or you can arrange to see their plans and the council's decision etc at the planning office. Planning officers are very nice and can offer you a lot of advice. If you were to use the same architect as the neighbours used they well may know the council's views on converting and extending.

Hope this helps.

LackaDAISYcal Mon 11-Jan-10 19:56:46

some information here

If you scroll down you will see that converting a garage to a habitable space counts as a change of use, and as such, does need planning permission. You'll also need to get Building Regs approval as well to make sure the conversion is adequate with regards to electrics, plumbing, access, insulation etc.

RacingSnake Mon 11-Jan-10 13:59:13

Hi. We live in the country and have a four-bedroom cottage with a double garage. We share the house with my 85-year-old mother, who is finding the stairs very difficult. We would like to convert the attatched garage into a ground-floor granny annex for her and build a new double garage. Has anyone done anything like this? How would planners see it? We have only two neighbours, both of which have recently extended their cottages and built large double garages. Would that help our case?

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