Residential Annexes and Outbuildings SPD

About the Residential Annexes and Outbuildings SPD.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic working from home had been increasingly popular as internet connections made this more achievable and many people looked to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their work/ life balance by commuting less. While the longer term and legacy impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on our economy and society are not yet clear, we can expect to see an increase in people wanting to work from home. Families may also want to support older relatives who may need some additional support to live independently, as people consider this to be an alternative to residential social care and or supporting younger family members get on the housing market. In addition, there is a benefit in helping ensure that our housing stock can be adapted to better support multigenerational living. Recognising that people may find it difficult to make sufficient space in their homes, thinking about the garden as a potential new working or living environment is therefore growing in popularity. Examples include installing modular type structures such as a garden room or converting outbuildings such as a detached garage. Under the Government’s planning rules planning permission is not normally required for outbuildings which are considered to be incidental to main property. Consent is generally required if converting an existing outbuilding to living accommodation and or creating a new build. However, whether planning permission is required or not, the council would encourage anyone considering such a project to ensure their proposals are well designed and built to a high standard.

This SPD has therefore been prepared to provide additional guidance in response to the expected increase in demand for people to create additional work/ office space within the curtilage of their homes and or support inter-generational living to support adopted planning policy contained within the South Gloucestershire Local Plan: Core Strategy (Adopted 2013) Policy CS1 “High Quality Design” which requires the highest possible standards of design and site planning are achieved along with the Policies, Sites and Places DPD (Adopted November 2017) Policy PSP38 “Development Within Existing Residential Curtilages, Including Extensions and New Dwellings”, which provides more detailed design guidance for how the requirements of the policy could be met when applications for residential extensions and all development within residential curtilages are being considered and Policy PSP8 “Residential Amenity” which addresses impacts on living conditions and amenities of neighbouring properties arising from new household developments.

As the Local Planning Authority, we also want to support proposals to be well designed and built to a high standard, both for occupants and the wider community. We also want to show how features can be incorporated into the design of such projects to make it more environmentally sustainable and encourage wildlife into gardens. By doing this it supports the council’s commitment to tackle the impacts of climate change and support nature given our pledge to be net zero carbon by 2030.

How to find out more and have your say.

The draft SPD is open for public consultation from Tuesday 11th May until Tuesday 22nd June 2021.

  • View or download a copy of the draft SPD here 
  • Provide us with your feedback here
  • Email:
  • Write to: South Gloucestershire Council Corporate Consultation Team,  Council Offices,  Badminton Road,  Yate, BRISTOL,  BS37 5AF

This consultation has now closed and we are analysing the results, which will be published here in due course.


  • Opened
    11 May 2021 at 00:00
  • Closed
    22 Jun 2021 at 23:59


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