Bringing your family together

This week, the introduction of the ‘support bubble’ for adults living alone, means that a lot of families can now see their elderly relatives who have had to endure lockdown, completely on their own.

This unusual situation, where families could not safely be in the same house as their elderly relatives, was something that wasn’t even considered at the beginning of the year. However, since the pandemic took hold, families have been separated for months and it has been a very lonely and worrying time.

It has made many households think about a home extension or specifically a granny annexe to ensure they can keep an eye on their loved one while they retain a sense of independence. In addition, care homes have been a huge concern, so families are wanting to care for their elderly relatives at home for as long as possible.

What to consider


Talk to us first before you contact your local authority or start any works. Depending on what you need, we will be able to advise you on whether planning permission is required and draw up detailed plans. Most extensions require both planning permission and building control approval, however with a granny annexe you may be able to obtain a Certificate of Lawful Development. The planning permission covers what your property will look like once the extension has been built, for example, is it in keeping with the rest of the street, how does it impact your neighbours etc. The building control approval covers the technical details indicating how it is built. These are separate departments and require separate applications.

Extension, granny annexe or outbuilding conversion?

You may just need an extra bedroom and extended living space. However, you might prefer a living space that is self-contained. An annexe, for example, while self-contained is not classed as a separate dwelling but part of the home occupied by the family. A step further would be to build an independent building on your land or develop an existing outbuilding. Understanding permitted development rights, obtaining a Certificate of Lawful Development, and/or gaining the required building consent can be stressful, time consuming and expensive if it is not handled correctly. We understand the processes and have expertise in all types of build. Our team would help draw up plans to best suit your needs and assist in gaining the permissions to go ahead.

A flexible solution for all generations

Building an annexe or converting an outbuilding, is a great way to add flexibility to your home life. It can be a very cost-effective alternative for an elderly relative who can’t keep up with the maintenance on a larger home, or to avoid the need to pay care home fees. It is also a great space for older children who may be priced out of the property market giving them an opportunity to save for a deposit, and a taster of living independently. If you then find they fly the nest, an annex can even become an extra source of income if you choose to rent it out, or using travel sites such as Airbnb.

One thing Coronavirus has taught us is you never can tell what’s around the corner, so control what you can and plan for the future. Please get in touch to chat through your ideas! Call Kevin Todd on 07973 227925 or email: