Who benefits from Houses with a Self-Contained Annexe?

This blog answers the question “Who Benefits from Houses With a Self-contained Annexe?” An annexe is an independent home (built) in the garden. An annexe will usually share the same parking and entrance to the main residence.This blog sets out the essential planning guidelines for constructing a self-contained annexe.

Who benefits from Houses with Self-contained Annexe?

The main purpose of an annexe is to provide a detached residential space for family members who require care or support in time of need and also value their living space privacy (rights).

An Annexe in planning terms is an extension of an existing building or a new building which is designed to provide accommodation considered as “ancillary” to the main dwelling. The annexe still serves to provide one of the following “primary accommodation” facilities such as a kitchen, bathroom or living room.

To be considered as subsidiary or “ancillary” to the main dwelling the annexe must have the following characteristics:

  • Be “subservient” or smaller in area or size than the main property
  • Not be so large in area that it could be converted into a separate residence.
  • The annexe should have a common garden with the main property
  • The annexe should be lived in by (members of ) the same family as the main residence
  • The annexe should have a common parking area and connected paths for moving vehicles from the main residence
  • The annexe must have a “functional connection” with the main residence such as a shared bathroom, shared living room or shared kitchen. This would mean that residents of the annexe would have to travel to the main building for performing essential daily living activities

Which issues do I need to consider when planning my application for building an annexe?

There are 3 key issues you need to consider when planning your application for building an annexe:

  • How do you want to build your annexe?

The principles regarding how to build your annexe will depend on whether you are building a new annexe, creating an annexe by extending an existing property or transforming an existing outbuilding into an annexe.

Key issues you also need to take into consideration when deciding how to build your annexe include the following:

  • What do you want to do to build your annexe?
  • Where do you want to build your annexe?

           This can be within the boundaries of cities or towns or within conservation areas. This place can also be outside the boundaries of your council and located in rural areas.

Key issues you also need to take into consideration when deciding how to build your annexe include the following:

  • Making sure that the annexe contains a structurally appropriate relationship with the main building.

This issue involves considering whether the annexe’s height is sufficiently lesser than that of the main building. Also does the annexe contain an entrance to the main building

  • Making sure that the annexe conforms with a “Residential Visual Amenity Assessment”

          This involves blending in with the existing surroundings including the main residence.

  • Making sure that the building complies with High Standards of Residential Amenity

This involves deciding whether the annexe will be a single story building or not. It also means deciding whether the annexe will have windows on more than one elevation.The inclusion of waste disposal facilities in the annexe (this may also include recycling)

  • Reinforcing the use of Biodiversity and “Green Infrastructure”( a network of natural and semi natural areas)

This includes finding out whether the annexe will have a negative impact on the trees in your property. It also ensures that enough necessary garden space is left out for plants to grow and for outdoor recreational activities.You need to ascertain how the annexe will affect the quantity and quality of vegetation cover available on your property.

You should also know whether any effort has been made to include ecological design features.

  • Designing a climate responsive structure

          This includes mentioning whether you have considered adding any renewable energy generation appliances such as solar panels.

 Will the location and placement of the annexe provide efficient usage of solar energy (appliances), from cooling and heating perspectives. You also need to include any ideas for fittings or gadgets which could help in cutting down energy or water usage.

  • Provide Adequate Parking

Firstly you need to consider whether you can retain the current parking facilities with the proposed annexe design plan. 

Secondly you need to know whether the cycle parking facilities on the new site will still conform to the council’s standards.

 Thirdly you need to ascertain whether the new car parking facility will still meet the requirements for car parking area dimensions set out by your council. 

Lastly you must know if the new parking area will meet your council’s requirements for the amount of vehicles parked in a car parking zone

What is a Design and Access Statement?

A Design and Access Statement is required to be submitted along with the planning application for an annexe (if listing building permission is needed) The Design and Access Statement must explain:

  • The considerations through which local planning policies have been taken into account
  • How the designed annexe’s environment and surroundings have influenced its design
  • How any design issues that prevented access to the annex (or its proper connection with the main building) have been resolved
  • The procedure by which residents (including mobility impaired residents) will move through the annexe 

Other necessary information to be submitted along with your application includes:

  • A construction site layout for the annexe
  • Current and proposed floor plans
  • Current and suggested elevation plans
  • The annexe planning application fee ( ranging from £34 to £90 for converting an existing outbuilding and around an average of £350 for a new annexe )
  • The official copies of the Register and Title Plan for the property or an Agricultural Holdings Certificate for farmland.
  • A planning permission application form
  • A cover letter, explaining the subsidiary nature of the annexe structure or converted outbuilding

Information (about your annexe plan) which may be required, depending on your specific circumstances includes:

  • A land contamination report
  • A flood risk report
  • A site and context analysis guide
  • A Design and Access Statement
  • An EWS 1 Structural Survey Report
  • A Coal Mining Risk Assessment Report

What are the Council Tax (Reduction for Annexes regulations) 2013?

This law provides for the calculation formula to work out the amount of council tax payable by a person living in an annexe (along with a relative in the main property) The formula is given by : A/2 where A is the normal amount of council tax payable for the property.

This calculation is in concurrence with the 50% tax reduction provided to council tax residents living (with a relative) in an annexe.

Under the regulations of this Act a marriage or civil partnership shall be treated as a relationship by blood and so will the relationship between two people who are unmarried but living together as a couple. Also the relation between two members of the same sex living together as civil partners will be considered as a civil partnership.


This blog post addressed the question “Who Benefits from Houses With A Self-Contained Annexe?” Houses with a self contained annexe are subject to a council tax exemption in case the residents live exclusively in the annexe. The planning requirements for a new annexe are quite detailed and technical so you will require the services of a professional architect or an annexe designing firm (such as HomeLodge Buildings) to get it right.

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below :

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) : Who Benefits from Houses with A Self Contained Annexe?

Who can apply for a granny annexe exemption?

A granny annexe exemption can be applied for property’s which serve as the main residence of a person who needs the help of (is dependent on)  the services provided by a relative staying in a granny annexe (on the same property).The requirement of being a “dependent” person and a “relative” of that person include the following restrictions:

  • The dependant may be a person aged above 65 years of age 
  • The dependant is a person who qualifies as being “Severely Mentally Impaired”
  • The dependent suffers from a permanent disability which is substantial in nature.
  • The relative can be your partner
  • The relative can also be the dependent’s parent, grandparent, brother or sister, grandchild, nephew, niece, great aunt, uncle, great grandparent or great grandchild, great nephew or great niece
  • The relative can also be the dependant’s great-great grandparent, great-great grandchild, great-great uncle, great-great aunt, great-great nephew or great-great nice

The following documents are required to be provided with your application for an exemption:

  • A birth certificate to prove the “dependent’s” age is 65 years or more
  • A copy of the decision letter of benefits being claimed (proving the Severely Mentally Impaired condition) by the dependant such as the Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, the Constant Attendance Allowance or the Attendance Allowance.
  • A copy of the decision letter of benefits being claimed ( as proof of the assessment of the person’s severe and permanent disability condition) by the “dependant” which may include the Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Attendance Allowance.

Under which conditions is a council tax discount applicable to my annexe?

A 50% discount (on your annexe) is applicable to your council tax bill under the following conditions:

  • Your annexe forms a part of a larger residence consisting of at least one more dwelling
  • Your annexe is in use as a subsidiary of the main property by the person responsible for council tax payments.

In case you are living in an annexe on the property of a relative and don’t qualify as a “dependent” you will still be able to get a 50% discount on your council tax bill if:

  • Your annexe forms part of a larger residence
  • The annexe is occupied by a person who qualifies to be a relative of the person responsible for paying the annual council tax bill for the property
  • The annexe must also be the primary or sole residence of the person occupying it


Reductions for Annexes Regulations 2013