Adding an Annexe

An annexe can be a great addition to your home. They are a great solution if you need to accommodate elderly relatives who wish to maintain an element of independence with additional support close by or for young adults wanting some space but not yet able to afford that all important first step onto the property ladder. Young teens might be seeking a space to get away too! Or perhaps you need a self-contained work or crafting space. However you decide to use it, adding an annexe, is a big step that requires forethought and planning. In this article, we look at what needs to be considered before building an annexe and give you useful links to further information.

Do I Need Planning Permission to Build an Annexe?

Planning permission will be required to build an annexe in your garden that is intended to be lived in. Simply put, if anyone is going to live and therefore sleep in the building, no matter the size and shape, planning permission will be required. The annexe will always be considered part of the main house and therefore cannot be sold separately. If the structure is being built with a view to renting it out as a second income, planning permission for a holiday let will need to be sought, not an annexe. You can seek permission via the Planning Department of your local council.

Any planning permission granted is likely to include some conditions to restrict occupation of the annexe to members of the household to which the annexe is attached, their guests or dependents. It will also have a restriction to prevent the annexe from being sold independently of the main house.

Engaging the services of an architect who specialises in designing annexes could be a useful before applying for planning permission. Their expertise and knowledge can determine what would be allowed in terms of an annexe for your property type. They can also advise regarding listed buildings and Conservation Area restrictions.

Under Permitted Development (PD), a homeowner can add a structure without full planning permission. There are, however, limitations on aspects such as the height, usage, size, type and location of structures built under PD. A structure can’t be additional to the main house under PD, and this would be what a self-contained annexe would be classified as.

What Other Aspects of Building an Annexe Do I Need to Consider?

Consideration needs to be given to utilities such as water, electricity and sewerage which your annexe will need to be connected to. Whether or not this can be connected to your existing supply will depend upon the site and your existing supplies. This step might not be as simple as it seems and is likely to be costly.

Some great further information and advice on the likely works to be carried out and costs is given here by Contemporary Log Living.

How Much Will It Cost?

Although there is no one definitive cost, rough guides do exist to give you an idea of how much to budget for. Bear in mind that the cost of building your annexe will depend on factors such as how you decide to build the annexe, the connection of utility services and whether you employ the services of an architect. As an indicator, a basic wooden annexe or kit construction will cost far less than a brick-built annexe. If the annexe is to be freestanding, rather than connected to the house, it will be much cheaper to build as walls do not need to be changed to allow for interconnecting doors, for example.

To give an approximate guide, you can expect to pay around £1,500 to £2,000 per square metre for a basic annexe, rising to around £2,000 to £2,200 per square metre for an annexe with a good quality finish. If you are looking for absolute top quality, expect to pay up upwards of £2,200 to £2,500 per square metre.

This is just the cost of building and does not include connecting utilities, planning costs or architect fees.

Is There an Exemption from Council Tax for An Annexe?

Annexe’s do not attract an exemption from council tax but under certain circumstances, you can claim a reduction. According to The Council Tax (Reductions for Annexes) (England) Regulations 2013, an exemption can be applied if the annexe:

(a)forms part of a single property which includes at least one other dwelling; and

(b)is being used by a resident of that other dwelling or, as the case may be, one of those other dwellings, as part of their sole or main residence; or

(c)is the sole or main residence of a relative of the person who is liable to pay council tax in respect of that other dwelling or, as the case may be, one of those other dwellings.

As you can see, there are a few things to consider before ploughing ahead with an annexe, we hope you found the information contained in this article a useful starting point.