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Likelihood of getting planning for granny annexe

  • 18-02-2022 10:40pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5,672 ✭✭✭

    Hi there,

    Ive been through all the threads about liveable sheds on boards but couldnt find the answer I was looking for. We want to build an anexe for a parent at the end of our garden. We want to do it legally and apply for planning permission but I cant find our if its easily obtained.

    Has anyone legally added an anexe at the end of their garden for a parent and if they have was it difficult to get planning.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 38,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    You won’t get planning for it to be habitable.

    youll get planning for the structure ancillary to the main dwelling. It will be conditioned that it can’t be used for habitable purposes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 43 doug82

    Most planning authorities have policy on granny flats in their development plan. From experience most require a physical connection to the main dwelling so that it can revert to use as part of the house when no longer required as a flat.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,672 ✭✭✭seannash

    Thanks for the reply. That just whats allowed under the permitted development anyway. I figured with the housing crisis the way it is they'd be delighted with this solution to free up housing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,672 ✭✭✭seannash

    Thanks for the reply. I'm completely happy to have the power connected to the main house. Looks like I'll have to organise a pre-planning meeting with the council

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,187 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    Their main concern in this regard is that the granny flat will end up being rented out, even if it's after the relative has passed away. They want the granny flats to be connected to the main house and with doors between them, and the main condition of planning will be that once the granny flat is no longer needed, the space is converted into part of the main house as extra living space/bedroom for the main house, and is not rented out as a separate liveable space.

    Sheds in people's back gardens aren't the solution to the housing crisis, as they end up being sub-standard and causing different issues with regards parking, drainage, garden space, noise etc.

    If you genuinely need a granny flat for a relative, there are provisions to allow that but it needs to be designed in accordance with those rules, unless there's a significant reason why it can't. You should organise a pre-planning meeting, or engage an architect/engineer/surveyor to advise.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,541 ✭✭✭Dudda

    As Penn said above. If a genuine need exists options are available. The tight regulations exist to avoid people building sub standard 'granny flats' in their back gardens and renting them out. If you've a large enough site you can split the site in two and build a separate house on it. An easy example of this would be Sunday's episode of Room to Improve on RTE where they had a large garden to the east of their existing house, split the site in half and built on it. I've family also doing this in Dublin downsizing to a smaller house. This obviously only works in certain circumstances where the land is available. The council generally like this approach as you've two separate sites, units and entrances, unlike a granny flat which is two units on the one site.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 38,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    Makes no different unfortunately. It won’t be granted.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 38,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,672 ✭✭✭seannash

    We did discuss this but ultimately we dont want the annexe to be included in their asset portfolio. Also the mortgage company would have to agree to this as this would somewhat devalue the house we currently live in and create a shared entrance to both houses. I understand the need to limit people renting the unit out after the parents are gone but surely there must be some way to do this legally. Our plans for the house don't allow us to tack on an annexe at the back of the house as it would prohibit us opening our kitchen/ dining room onto the patio (First world problems I know but something we have to consider.

    Thanks for the comment!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,672 ✭✭✭seannash

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 38,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    Yeah no problem. That’s your right. Depending on the LA, you won’t even get a meeting.

    It will be you sending them plans by email with a description of what you want.

    I can tell you now from lodging planning applications weekly, it will be a waste of time unfortunately.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,672 ✭✭✭seannash

    Thanks for the reply. Yes I agree its not the solution but this is definitely something that should be permissible to help matters.

    I totally get the need to stop renting out these properties once the parent passes but it feels unnecessarily restrictive in this instance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,187 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    You can have a separate entrance to the granny flat, however you still need some sort of link between the house and the granny flat.

    As for not wanting the granny flat attached to the house because it would affect your link between the kitchen/living and patio area, the planner is simply going to deem the family flat as not being necessary if that's why you don't want it attached to the house.

    Family flats are granted on the basis that they're deemed necessary, and as such issues like attaching it to the house aren't meant to be that big an issue if the family flat was truly needed. The idea is that you construct the family flat against the house, and when the time comes that it's no longer required it becomes part of the main house (eg. you convert it into a house extension).

    Unless you can prove an actual reason why it can't be connected to the main house (the only such reason that might come to mind imo is if the site layout doesn't allow it, but it would have to be an extremely poorly laid out site), the planner isn't going to accept reasons like it will devalue your own home or affect your use of the patio. Your basis for needing a family flat to begin with are deemed to be more important than those issues.

    Again though, it doesn't help matters, as it causes a multitude of other issues, and there are plenty of shocking cases out there where people have done such structures, rented them out, and they're incredibly below standards.

    If your site is big enough for another dwelling, that can be reviewed. But if your basis for needing the structure is as a family flat, there are particular things it must comply with.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,672 ✭✭✭seannash

    Even though its not the answer I want to hear that is a great reply. Thanks for that. Certainly gives us something to think about

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,569 ✭✭✭Yellow_Fern

    You are quite wrong. Sheds in gardens could play a huge role and this obsession with perfection is leading cause of the housing crisis

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,187 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    It doesn't have to be "perfection", but it should be closer to that than being "sheds in gardens". It's also not the leading cause of the housing crisis.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,569 ✭✭✭Yellow_Fern

    It is one example. From NZEB to onerous spatial requirements, size limits to development levies, we really are not treating the Housing Crisis as an actual crisis like Covid or the Emergency. The West has gone deep on the social democrat housing codology you are espousing, and from San Francisco to Berlin we are suffering the consequences. But I agree, overregulation isn't the leading cause. Urbanisation is the key, and Central Bank polices are factor too but over regulation is still a substantial factor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Starcash


    I came across this thread and wondering did the OP find find a solution to the problem? We are at the beginning stages of planning and hoping to get a granny flat on site also. Preferably dethatched as the site is big enough.

  • Registered Users Posts: 45,794 ✭✭✭✭muffler

    You won't get permission for a detached granny flat as it would be considered a separate house.

  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭Bracken81

    100%, needs to be joined/corridor to the house, to get Planning

    FYI, I've seen 2 x Building Control enforced Demolitions of 60m2+ Family rooms, locally recently (Dublin)

    Best option is generally a Shed/Family Room, under 25 metres squared

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