Supporting multigenerational living – planning approved for substantial annexe in Birmingham

As the retained planning consultancy for a national provider of garden offices and annexes, as well as acting on behalf of private individuals, our knowledgeable consultants provide an informed, innovative and valuable approach to these types of planning applications.

This was a particularly interesting project which sought permission for a large-scale annexe to facilitate a multigenerational living set-up for a family in Birmingham.

Annexes and multigenerational living

We were instructed by our client to help seek planning permission for the erection of a large ancillary granny annexe. Given the ongoing housing crisis and with the cost of living set to increase, we have seen a rise in families seeking to provide annexe accommodation for family members or purchasing properties specifically with outbuildings to convert them into potential living spaces to enable multigenerational living.

Such was the case for our client, who sought a large annexe to provide essential living and garden space to meet the current and future needs of their parents, who required day-to-day care and social support.

Making a case to demonstrate the functional link between the annexe and the main dwelling

When it comes to annexe applications, a key theme is to justify that the annexe is subordinate to the main dwelling and relies upon it. This is in part because of a common concern among LPAs (Local Planning Authorities), that rather than being used as accommodation ancillary to the host property, annexes may have the potential to be turned into separate dwellings, often referred to as ‘beds in sheds’.

In this case, given the scale of the proposals we correctly anticipated that the LPA would be sensitive to the proposals.  Clear communication and positive engagement were key, and we successfully evidenced how the proposed annexe met the requirements of LPA policies on homes for the elderly and outbuildings. We also made a compelling case for the ancillary nature of the proposals, suggesting its use be controlled by condition and in so doing, protecting the annexe use both now and in the future.  Furthermore, we successfully demonstrated how the design and materials of the annexe were in accordance with the LPAs Supplementary Planning Documents.

A larger than average annexe

A central planning consideration for this project was the size of the proposed annexe and the potential impact on neighbouring amenities – the proposed footprint of the annexe was at least twice the size of other previously approved annexes. However, we made a successful planning case for this development, which included:

  • a context review to evidence how the proposals would integrate well within the existing site and assimilate into the wider context with limited impact on neighbouring amenity;
  • a review of the key policy requirements relating to sustainable development and how the proposals met these requirements;
  • an assessment of the planning balance and justification for why weight should be applied to certain policies in this case.

We worked positively with the LPA and were very glad to secure planning permission for our client, who will now be able to provide the necessary accommodation and support to their relatives.

We have extensive experience in granny annexes and are well placed to guide you through the process from concept to completion. If you require planning assistance with a development project, then don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable team via or call us on 01242 501003 to see how we can best assist you, providing the site address and a brief overview of your project.  You can also submit your site via our Landmark Page. We value your privacy and any information which you provide will not be shared outside of our company and will only be used in relation to your enquiry.