Constructive engagement + negotiation = planning approval for an architect designed annexe in Harrow

AnnexeHarrowWe recently secured planning permission for the conversion of, and extension to, an existing garage to create annexe accommodation.

We were called in to assist with the scheme after a similar application had been previously refused by Harrow Council.

The brief:

Our brief was to review the refused application and address the concerns raised through the preparation and submission of a new planning application.

In responding to the reasons for refusal, we identified that a key concern centered on a local policy which was relevant only to independent units of accommodation, not annexe accommodation. We successfully furthered our argument by justifying how the proposal would have no greater impact on the surrounding area than an outbuilding, which in this case would be allowed under PD rights.

In order to effectively deal with issues relating to design, scale and impact on neighbouring amenity, we advised engaging directly and proactively with the council and arranged for a pre-application meeting to discuss the amended scheme.

The discussions were productive and helped to make sure that the revised scheme responded to the concerns of the previously refused application. The architects, Gemini Design, implemented a number of design features to help the annexe assimilate better into its garden context, cleverly reducing a the sense of scale and bulk whilst still retaining a spacious and quality living environment.

Our negotiations also extended to a S106 agreement, to help make the development more acceptable to a rather inflexible council.

What is S106:

Known as planning obligations, or Section 106 agreements, these are made between local authorities and developers and can be attached to a planning permission to make a development more acceptable in planning terms and act as an alternative to a refusal.

Any resultant planning obligations must be directly relevant to the proposed development and examples of types of planning obligations include –

  • compensation for potential loss caused by a development, such as a loss of open space;
  • to mitigate a development’s potential impact, for example by providing further public transport.


The guidance sought through pre-application and the amendments made to the proposed annexe addressed the original concerns, resulting in a development which fully conforms to both national and local planning policy requirements and was approved by Harrow Council without delay.

IMAGE SOURCE: Gemini Design 2016.