Woman wins right to build annexe to home

Otterbush Farm The Hythe Little Downham

Otterbush Farm The Hythe Little Downham, can be expanded to include an annexe, the Planning Inspectorate has ruled, over turning refusal by East Cambs Council - Credit: Google

A woman won an appeal against refusal by East Cambridgeshire District Council to allow her to build a two-storey gym and annexe. 

Alison Hayes was told by the Planning Inspectorate that her appeal has been allowed.  

She can now go ahead with the annexe at Otterbush Farm, The Hythe, Little Downham.  

East Cambs planners felt the annexe was “tantamount to the creation of a new dwelling, or separate planning unit.  

“This is not considered to be ancillary and could lead to subdivision from the main dwelling.  

“Therefore, the proposed building could be capable of being used as a separate residential dwellinghouse by the current or future occupiers”. 

However, the planning inspector noted Mrs Hayes had given a unilateral undertaking to the council confirming the annexe would remain part of the main house.  

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He said the undertaking would ensure that the use of the annexe would not be sold or leased separately.  

The inspector said the main issue was whether or not the proposal would constitute the creation of a separate residential unit. 

And if so whether this would be contrary to both local and national policy in relation to new dwellings in the countryside. 

Case law of whether it is a separate and independent unit of occupation “will be a matter of fact and degree in any particular case.  

“Even if the accommodation for a relative provides facilities for independent day to day living, it would not necessarily become a separate planning unit from the main house.”. 

He said each case must therefore be determined on its own individual merits.  

“In this instance the annexe would not be dependent on the main dwelling for dining or living facilities and it would be capable of operating independently from it,” he says. 

“However, the annexe would be sited at the end of the driveway between the stone wall and the LPG tanks located to the side of one of the garages.” 

He was not convinced the location would “necessarily encourage use” as a separate house. 

"I am satisfied that there would be a functional relationship between Otterbush Farm and the annexe,” he said. 

He acknowledged the council’s concern that the building could be used as a separate dwelling “but that is not the proposal before me”.