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Annexe Planning Permission & Building Regulations


Your new Living Annex will be a cherished and valued home.  Peace of mind is such an important part of achieving this and knowing that the home is built in accordance with all current rules, regulations and standards is important –  Swift take your peace of mind very seriously.

Rightly so, all buildings that are to be used a Living Annexe must have Planning Consent and must meet all current Building Regulations.  Unlike some garden rooms where their location or size can exempt them from some such requirements, all Living Annexe’s must comply.

garden annexe external

Planning Permission


Planning permission is all about the appearance, size and usage of the building.

It is a requirement in current Planning Law that all buildings which are used for overnight accommodation must have planning consent.  The process is not as daunting as some people fear and, by employing experts with the knowledge and experience to handle the process, the likelihood is that your application will be approved. At Swift, we are those experts.

UK regions have different Local Planning Authorities, and they all have their own guidelines and policies that are relevant to their area.  In principle, the government is very much in favour of the principals behind multi-generational living and encourage their use.

Local Planning Authorities also have to consider the local environment, neighbours rights and expectations and the impact on local infrastructure.  They also have a responsibility to prevent over-development by stealth – where a so-called Granny Annexe is really intended to be used as a separate dwelling and could be commercially rented out.  Holiday accommodation and business-related uses may also be undesirable in a residential setting.

Planning Permission addresses all these possible outcomes.

Because of these factors there are certain criteria that are commonly sought by the Planning officer.  Here are some of the most common conditions that should be borne in mind:

  • The building must be ANCILLARY to the main dwelling – i.e. although it will have the facilities for day-to-day living , it must also display a dependency upon the main dwelling house.
  • For the above reason, it is often seen as an advantage if the Annex is situated close to the main house.
  • Often there will be a condition that occupants of the Annex must be family members of the main house.
  • Electricity, water and drainage must be taken from the main house and cannot be independent supplies (even though they may have devices attached to measure usage – so that bills can be apportioned).

The Annex will not have its own postal address.

entrance hall in luxury annexe

Application Process


We can do everything for you.  We have experts who’s profession is to know planning law and they are adept at investigating the likely conditions from your Local Planning Authority (LPA).  They will check out local policies and guidance as well as looking for comparable cases that will support your project.  The whole application will be presented in a thorough, professional and effective manner to make it easy for the LPA to understand the positive benefits for this request.  Your case will be monitored and assessed at various stages and in the unlikely event of any challenges, we will approach them with skill, care and diligence.

garden annexe floorplan

Building Regulations


Building regulations are all about the structural integrity, longevity, environmental impact and safety of your new living annex.

The whole process from the design to handing over the keys has to be done in a way that will meet a whole host of criteria and conditions to ensure that your new home is fit for purpose in every way.

It should be noted that there are different regulations for temporary or mobile accommodation that are less stringent in certain areas.   Our buildings are inspected to the same standards as new houses… i.e. the highest possible level.

The result is a building that matches or exceeds standards such as:

  • Structural strength and integrity – from footings to roofing (Part A)
  • Fire safety; For the users of the building as well as protecting nearby property (Part B)
  • Site Preparation and ensuring resistance to moisture (Part C)
  • Noise insulation (Part E)
  • Ventilation – crucial in our highly air-tight buildings (Part F)
  • Drains and Waste – safely and correctly discharged (Part H)
  • Conservation of fuel and power – making your running costs low (Part L)
  • Access to the building, particularly for anyone with any challenges (Part M)
  • Glazing – being safe in case of accidents and efficient (Part N)
  • Electrical – for safety and reliability (Part P)


The above “Parts” refer to some of the many sections that our independent building inspectors will concentrate upon.  This not only ensures the success of achieving the final certification of the whole structure, but is also a great comfort to you – knowing that meeting such high standards are never going to be in any doubt.



Having your building compliant in these very important areas, as well as having all the relevant paperwork from the authorities gives you peace of mind.  The building is “approved”.  It avoids any questions and doubts over the suitability and the legitimacy of what is after all, a home – for people who are cherished.

If, in the future, the property is sold then this certification and approval significantly improves the value and return on investment of the annex, as well as making the process simple.  It avoids the complexity and frustration of solicitor’s questions and enquiries.



Swift, who started business in 2008, have a team of people who love their jobs because of the difference our buildings make to peoples lives.  This is never more dramatically experienced than in the construction of a Living Annexe – maybe a Granny Annexe, perhaps a Teenager Annex – whatever the age of the occupant, we want to make a building that becomes a home.

There are many benefits to building a Granny Annexe given that the space is available. It is not considered to be a separate dwelling and therefore does not attract separate rates. Our insurance company is treating the annex as an outbuilding, just like a separate garage or a shed. There was no need to change our address with the complications that can bring and no need to change Doctors or Dentists, and our existing social network remains intact.”

DN, Northwich

14 years in business graphic