Living in a Green Belt or Listed Building and need annexe planning?


Do you live in a Green Belt or a Listed Building and need annexe planning permission? Planning to build an annexe on your property? Concerned about green belt or listed building status? One way to confidently navigate challenges is by applying for a Certificate of Lawfulness (CoL) for a mobile home, alongside a planning application for an annexe. In this post, we’ll discuss the advantages of a dual planning application approach as a safety net for your plans.

The Benefits of a Dual Application Approach and Fallback Position if you live in a green belt or listed building and need annexe planning permission

live in a green belt or listed building

An explanation of the process involved

Certain sites are subject to planning and landscape designations, which can affect the process of obtaining planning permission. Designations are imperative to safeguard areas that hold considerable environmental, cultural, or historical worth.Designations such as these aim to balance the need for development, whilst preserving valuable resources. Here are some designations that can hinder planning applications:

Conservation Areas
Listed Buildings
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
Green Belt
National Parks
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Flood Zones
Sites with Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)

Each LPA evaluates every proposal, considering the impact on the area’s character and designated features. Extra assessments or conditions may be required and permission refusal is possible if a negative impact on the area is found.

A Certificate of Lawfulness (CoL) provides legal confirmation that a proposed development follows planning regulations, regardless of site designations. At NAPC, we use a ‘dual application approach’ by filing a traditional planning application along with a CoL application based on the siting of a mobile home (caravan) simultaneously.

Some building providers construct annexes or garden rooms that fit the legal definition of a caravan. When the LPA is satisfied the structure adheres to the caravan definition and does not result in a change of land use, they will grant a CoL. So long as this CoL is granted before the related planning application determination it serves as a robust fallback position. Additionally, suppose the site falls under specific landscape designations mentioned earlier or the LPA deems the planning application inconsistent with local planning policies. In this case, the presence of an approved CoL becomes a crucial factor that the LPA considers during the planning application assessment.

How this approach can be useful

At NAPC, our planners recognize the importance of adopting dual application strategies in areas with strict planning regulations. We’ve seen cases where the LPA didn’t support a client’s planning app despite approving the CoL.ent planning application was submitted for development on green belt land within the grounds of a listed building. The local planning authority (LPA) conducted a thorough assessment of the situation and concluded that the previously approved fallback position, as established in the CoL, did not warrant withholding planning permission due to potential impacts on the green belt or the listed building. Consequently, the full planning application was approved by the LPA.

Get in touch

Are you considering building an annexe in your garden but are unsure whether your LPA will support your application? If so please contact us. We are confident that our team of experienced planners can provide you with expert guidance and assistance regarding your project proposal.

Further reading

We have several other blogs in the Blog section of our website that will be of interest if you are just beginning to learn about annexes.  Below are a few that will help.

The consumer site ‘Which’ also has a blog on this, click here to find out more.

In addition, we have lots of our recent planning projects featured in the Projects section of our website, which can be found here.

Do I need annexe planning permission in the Green Belt?

Do I need annexe planning permission in an AONB?

The Caravan Act – Everything you need to know

Does using your annexe as an Airbnb require planning permission?

Get in touch

So if you still need further help or advice, get in touch for an initial discussion to see how we can assist you. Use the contact details below to get in touch with our team.


Get an answer quicker with a Feasibility Study

A one-off Feasibility Study (from £99) will equip you with crucial planning insight about the area you’re planning to site your Annexe or Garden Room. So if you pursue your application, you have the best chance of success. 

Prefer to talk to a planning expert in person?

Book a call with one of our planning experts or call/email us directly.

Phone number

01285 283200


Related posts


Annexes are now a popular addition to many family homes to provide additional accommodation.

Mobile Home

NAPC provide a service to help you establish whether your mobile home meets the definition of a caravan and can apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness

Garden Room

Looking to install a garden room at your property? Unsure about planning permission or building regulations for garden rooms?

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