Garden Annex & Home Offices

Tallbo 35 Garden annex

With the credit crisis continuing Banks are still reluctant to lend money to first time home buyers. According to the BBC the average age of a first time home buyer is now 37. Whereas in the past young people would buy a flat to live in before marrying, they are now increasingly going back to live with Mum and Dad, and the Bank of Mum and Dad is now the largest lender of deposits for young people. So in these straitened times it is no wonder that people are increasingly looking to leverage their main existing asset, the family home, and are looking for ways to make the best use of their existing accommodation.

For some people a loft conversion will be the best solution, for others an extension. But increasingly home owners are looking to their gardens as a means to add extra accommodation to their homes and are building garden cabins to use as extra living accommodation auxiliary to the main house. A garden cabin can be cheaper to build than a loft conversion, and considerably cheaper than an extension with a much lower cost per square metre. In addition the physical separation between the cabin and your house makes a cabin a much more private space.

Planning Permission Concerns

Planning permission is usually not an issue for a garden annex so long as you meet some simple criteria. You are allowed to erect outbuildings in your back garden up to half of the area of the garden without planning permission under your 'permitted rights'. So long as the buildings are for the exclusive use of your household, and are not used in association with a business, then there is no reason why members of your family cannot live and sleep in the cabin so long as it meets current Building Regulations, and is not classified as a separate 'dwelling'.  A garden cabin becomes a 'dwelling' it it is entirely self sufficient from the main house with a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen. A dwelling will always require planning permission. So by not installing a kitchen in the garden cabin and forcing the occupants to take their meals in the house you can avoid the requirement to obtain planning permission. More information on the subject is available on our planning permission page.

Not everyone can exercise their permitted rights without permission. For example if you live in a conservation area planning permission is always required. We therefore recommend that you consult with your local planning department to confirm you are entitled to erect a cabin without permission. By applying for a 'Certificate of Proposed Lawful Use' from your local authority you can be confident that there will be no problem in the future from anyone challenging the legality of your garden annex.  A Certificate of Proposed Lawful Use is a lot cheaper than applying for planning permission, is a quick process, and cannot be objected against by neighbours.

Building Control

If your garden annex is to be used as sleeping accommodation then it is required to pass Building Control. We can handle all the building control work for you, as well as erecting the cabin, installing electrics and heating and all the other work necessary to provide you with a beautiful garden annex that will add to the value of your property and provide much needed accommodation for your family.

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