top of page
New residential annex approved in Handsworth Wood, Birmingham. En-Plan: Planning Consultants for Birmingham, Walsall, Coventry and Wolverhampton.



Planning Application approved for new Residential Annex and Recording Studio in Handsworth Wood, Birmingham.



Following on from a successful Certificate of Lawfulness Application for new garden studio the applicant changed their project parameters and now wanted to build an annex in the rear garden that could accommodate the office and recording studio uses already approved under on roof with a residential element to allowed for multi generational living at the property.  In terms of the requirement for planning permission it is the introduction of primary living accommodation in the form of  a bedroom that necessitates the requirement for full planning approval in the form of a householder planning application.

The application site is located in Hnadsworth wood which is an area located in the northwestern part of Birmingham, England. Handsworth Wood's history can be traced back to ancient times when the area was predominantly woodland. It was part of the ancient Forest of Arden, an extensive forest that covered much of Warwickshire and Staffordshire.nHandsworth Wood, like many areas in Birmingham, experienced significant growth during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries. The expansion of industries such as manufacturing, metalworking, and coal mining in Birmingham led to an increase in population and urbanization.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Handsworth Wood underwent residential development. The area saw the construction of large Victorian and Edwardian houses, which were primarily occupied by the affluent middle class. Many of these properties still exist today and contribute to the area's architectural character. Handsworth Wood has historically been a diverse area with a multicultural population. In the mid-20th century, the area saw an influx of migrants from various parts of the British Commonwealth, including the Caribbean, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. This diversity has shaped the cultural fabric of Handsworth Wood and continues to be an important aspect of its identity. Development: Over the years, Handsworth Wood has seen various regeneration initiatives aimed at improving the area's infrastructure and amenities. These include the development of community centers, parks, schools, and improved transportation links to enhance the quality of life for residents.


Today, Handsworth Wood is a vibrant residential area with a mix of housing types, ranging from large period homes to modern developments. It is known for its green spaces, including Handsworth Park, which provides recreational opportunities for residents. The area also has a strong sense of community, with local organizations and events that bring residents together.

The architecture of Handsworth Wood is diverse, reflecting the area's history and development over time. Handsworth Wood is known for its impressive Victorian and Edwardian-era houses, which were constructed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These properties often feature distinctive architectural elements such as bay windows, ornate detailing, and spacious rooms. The styles may range from Victorian Gothic and Italianate to Edwardian Arts and Crafts and Queen Anne Revival. Handsworth Wood experienced significant suburban development during the mid-20th century, resulting in the construction of semi-detached and terraced houses. These homes typically have a more modest architectural style compared to the grand Victorian and Edwardian houses. They often feature simple yet functional designs and can be found in various architectural styles popular during that time. Like many areas in Birmingham, Handsworth Wood witnessed post-World War II redevelopment. This led to the construction of council houses and other social housing schemes to address the housing needs of the time. These properties are often characterized by their utilitarian design and layout.  In more recent years, there have been new housing developments in Handsworth Wood that embrace contemporary architectural styles. These may include modernist designs, minimalist aesthetics, and sustainable features, reflecting the evolving trends in architecture and construction. Handsworth Wood is home to several religious buildings, including churches, mosques, and temples. These structures vary in architectural style, reflecting the cultural and religious diversity of the community. The area also features a range of community facilities and public buildings, such as schools, community centers, and recreational spaces. These buildings may exhibit different architectural styles, including functional designs and more contemporary approaches. It's important to note that the architectural landscape of Handsworth Wood is continually evolving, and there may be variations in architectural styles within different sections of the area. To get a more comprehensive understanding of the architectural history and specific examples in Handsworth Wood, it would be beneficial to explore the neighborhood and consult local historical resources or architectural studies focused on the area.


The Planning application Process


The applicant then submitted with the client En-Plan: Planning & Architecture formulated a full planning application that was subsequently submitted to, and approved by, Birmingham City Council Planning Department.  The proposal gained approval not only for a residential element but also gained approval for a new recording studio, office and art studio The building as a whole will create seventy square meters of new development and allows great flexibility in the accommodation on offer at the property and for more spacious accommodation in terms of roof height as the issue with domestic curtilage allowed under permitted development rights the the overall height of the building is restricted to 2.5 meters in height of within a metre of the boundary.  The newly approved annex allowed for 2.4 metres as minimum in terms of roof height alone which then  allow for uses such as a gym to be accommodated in the project.

The Design Principles for the Project


En-Plam clearly defined the purpose of the annex and considered its intended use. Whether it's for accommodating guests, providing additional living space for family members, or serving as a separate rental unit, the design should cater to the specific needs and lifestyle of its occupants.


Efficient space planning is crucial for a residential annex. Consider the layout to optimize the available space and create functional zones. Determine the number and size of rooms required, such as bedrooms, living areas, kitchenette or full kitchen, bathroom facilities, and storage spaces.


With an annex you must ensure privacy and separation between the main house and the annex, especially if they share a common yard or entrance. This can be achieved through thoughtful positioning, separate entrances, and architectural features like fences, walls, or landscaping.


In terms of the visual aesthetic you must design the annex to harmonize with the architectural style of the main house and the surrounding neighborhood. This helps create a cohesive aesthetic and maintains the overall character of the property.


Incorporate ample windows and openings to maximize natural light and ventilation. This not only enhances the overall comfort but also reduces reliance on artificial lighting and mechanical ventilation systems.


Ensure the annex is accessible and meets the needs of all occupants. Consider elements such as step-free entrances, wider doorways, and accessible bathroom and kitchen features if required.


Provide sufficient storage space within the annex to accommodate the belongings and daily needs of the occupants. This can include built-in cabinets, closets, and flexible storage solutions to optimize space.


Consider incorporating energy-efficient features and materials into the design. This may include insulation, efficient heating and cooling systems, energy-saving appliances, and renewable energy options, depending on the project's budget and sustainability goals.


Outdoor Spaces: If feasible, incorporate outdoor spaces such as a private patio, deck, or garden area to extend the living area and provide a connection to nature.

The Building Regulations Phase

En-Plan have now submitted Building Regulations Full Plans Application to deal with the construction detail required for the build.  The challenges facing the project are the presence of a railway embankment to the rear of the annex that will require the permission of Network Rail in order to builds in close proximity to the railway line and ensure no impact on the embankment will occur as a result of the scheme. We are currently working with Building Consents who are a private Building Inspection Firm.  Once this is done we will submit the approved specification to Network Rail for approval prior to going out to tender on the project.

As a brief aside on the difference between Local Authority and Private Building Inspectors they both work from the same approved documents and work to the same building standard. The Private Inspectors cannot undertake regularisation certificates for work completed without Building Regulations Approval.  The fees will largely be the same although the Local Authority will have a set list of fees with a Private Inspector quoting on the complexity of the job. In essence though Private Inspectors are authorised by the Council to sign off the work you complete.  It is important to research the market and work with an Inspector that is recommended and has a proven track record.  We are more than happy to work with you to assist you in this process.

Further Information


If you would like to find out more about how our Planning Consultancy and Architectural Design Services can work in perfect sync to achieve a successful outcome in the planning system please CONTACT US and we will be only too happy to talk through any questions or development proposals you may have.


View of the existing commercial unit in Fakenham, Norfolk.

March 2020

Planning Application and Building Regulations Approval received for new Place of Worship.

En-Plan: Planning & Architecture have secured this change of use for a new place or worship via Planning Consent from North Norfolk Council and subsequent Full Plans Building Regulations approval for the revised layout.

If you would like to see more examples of how we can help please refer to our dedicated Change of Use page.


Change of use approved in Norwich

June 2021

Change of use of commercial unit to residnetial approved in Norwich, Norfolk.

Utilising an existing ground floor hairdressing Salon En-Plan were able to gain consent to change this into a new residnetial unit.

The application site was located in Thorpe St. Andrew in Norwich and fell within the Broadland District Council Area.


View of the front of the approved Boutique Hotel.

April 2021

New Boutique Hotel Planning Application 
approved, in Balloch Scotland.

En-Plan: Planning & Architecture have obtained retrospective planning approval for a boutique hotel that was the subject of a Planning Enforcement case. En-Plan have been bought in and achieved the consent to allow the ongoing use of this business.

Please refer our Planning Enforcement page for further examples of how we have assisted clients in this complex field.


Prior Approval Extension in Coventry.

March 2022

New Prior Approval extension completed in Coventry.

En-Plan were contatced to remedy a faluty extensipo placed on the rear of a porperty on Hardy Road in Coventry.  We gained apporval to replace the extension with a more basic conservatory which would solve the faulty buildbng issues and gain some additional floorspace for the new residents.


Presentation elevation of the approved Holiday Let in Minsterley, Shropshire.

Februrary 2020

Holiday Let Planning Application receives approval in Minsterley, Shropshire.

Utilising the existing garage planning approval has been granted to change its use to a new holiday let in the heart of the Shropshire Countryside. The project will now progresses to the building regs stage. To ensure correct conversion techniques and fire safety.

Please refer to our Planning Applications page for further examples of successful projects undertaken.


New HMO approved in

January 2023

New five beedroom HMO approved in the centre of Coventry.

En-Plan ahave secured plannig consent to change an existing taxi office in Covenry into a five bedroom house in multipe occupation following a ful chnage fo use planning application.

The proeprty is also located in an area with an article 4 direction in place to stop such changes.


Shropshire Office


Back Lane

Bomere Heath



Norfolk Office

34 Queen Elizabeth Avenue

Kings Lynn


PE30 4BX

En-Plan: Planning & Architectue Chartered Planning Consultants Chartered Town Planning Consultants


  • Facebook Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
yell En-Plan: Planning & Architectue Chartered Planning Consultants Chartered Town Planning Consultants





En-Plan: Planning & Architecture Chartered Town Planning Consultants
bottom of page