“Until 23 April 2020, we thought we knew the answer to what appears to be this simple question,” says Brian Dinnis of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.
“For some of our clients, this is a very important question. That is because one of the exemptions to the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that seek to avoid the development of isolated homes in the countryside is where a new dwelling is created by the subdivision of an existing residential dwelling” explains Dinnis.
“Although all cases turn on their own facts, the established and generally accepted position has been that a dwelling includes all other buildings, such as garages and other outbuildings, that form an integral part of the residential planning unit. Recent planning and appeal decisions have concluded that ancillary residential accommodation, such as “granny annexes”, are part and parcel of the residential planning unit”, continues Dinnis.
“A High Court judgment dated 23 April 2020 has overturned this understanding, and the decision of a planning inspector, by holding that a residential annexe that was created from a garage that was agreed at the time it was created to have been an integral part of the residential planning unit is not part of the existing residential dwelling and does not therefore fall within the NPPF exemption”, reports Dinnis.
“The judgment raises several new questions; the most obvious being that, if ancillary residential accommodation is not part of the existing residential dwelling, what is its planning status? That question is likely to keep us thinking for some time and may require a further court decision before it is answered”, comments Dinnis.
For further information please contact Brian Dinnis on 01884 212380 or via our website www.acornrpc.co.uk