Granny annexes have become a playground for celebrities seeking unconventional and extraordinary spaces, with new data revealing that the number of annexes being built in the UK is on the up.
According to iHus, the UK’s leading granny annexe manufacturer, over the past 12 months they have built more than 32% new annexes than recorded the previous year – a trend in stark contrast to the number of new residential developments, applications for which are down 8% on the previous year*.
iHus, has compiled a list of the top celebrity annexes across the UK to challenge the perception that ‘granny flats’ are only for elderly family members, and showcase the versatility of annexes in meeting a variety of modern lifestyle needs.
- Holly Willoughby’s Au Pair Haven: TV presenter Holly Willoughby embarked on a project to add a one-bedroom apartment as a granny annexe to her home in Barnes, creating a comfortable and private space for her au pair.
- Michelle Keegan’s Million-pound Mansion Granny Annexe: actress Michelle Keegan and her TV personality husband Mark Wright secured planning permission to build a brand-new annexe at their Essex home. The couple moved into the property in September last year, after purchasing it in October 2019 for £1.3million. Documents submitted alongside the plans suggest the annexe is being built for Mark’s parents and will include an ensuite bedroom, a cloakroom, kitchen, dining area and sitting area.
- The Beckhams’ Chic Retreats: Known for their exquisite taste, David and Victoria Beckham have transformed a granny annexe in the grounds their £21m Holland Park mansion into a stylish and luxurious retreat for when their eldest son, Brooklyn, and his partner, Nicola Peltz visit. And if one annexe wasn’t enough, the Beckham’s were reported to have filed planning permission for another granny flat at their £6m Cotswolds mansion in 2020.
- Coronation Street’s Unique Staycation Spot: The iconic Rovers Return pub from the popular TV show Coronation Street has paired up with AirBnB to offer fans the opportunity to stay in the heart of The Street in the specially designed ‘Rover’s Annexe’. Guests have the perfect view of Audrey Roberts’ house and can also take a stroll past the kebab shop and the Kabin.
- Rocky’s Pavilion: Alice Levine, star of the podcast “My Dad Wrote A Porno,” has unveiled the surprising truth behind the fictional character Rocky Flintstone. In reality, Rocky’s pavilion is a unique granny annexe that serves as an inspiring retreat for Alice, allowing her to reflect and unwind in a serene setting.
- DJ’s Luxury Granny Flat: Renowned radio DJ Tony Blackburn invested in an iHus granny annexe six years ago for his mother-in-law, Connie, who was facing challenges in her East End of London residence. Recognising Connie’s strong desire for independence, Tony sought an alternative to the traditional care home setting. With that in mind, he opted for a single bedroom annexe, featuring an inviting open-plan living room and kitchen that seamlessly connected to the picturesque garden.
- Secret Garden Glamping: created during lockdown by former transport business owner, Derry Green, these nine luxury units are now one of the ‘most-booked’ glamping sites in the UK. Located in four acres of woodland behind Derry’s Lancashire home The Secret Garden Glamping units have featured on several TV shows including Celebs Go Dating and have also been stayed in by actors and reality TV stars from Eastenders and Coronation Street.
- Jumping on the annexe trend bandwagon, TV star Ant McPartlin recently tried but failed to secure planning permission to build an ‘imposing’ garage and granny annexe at his £7m Wimbledon mansion. The council denied the plans as it felt they would have an ‘unacceptable impact on the conservation area and the character of the street’.
James Lund-Lack, managing director of iHus said: “These insights reflect the increasing popularity of granny annexes as a versatile and convenient solution for accommodating extended family members, creating additional living space, or even as a separate workspace.
“But annexes are not just for celebrities. While most of the annexes we build have a conventional use, we did have one customer who used their annexe as a ‘tortoise hotel,’ caring for over 30 tortoises at any one time. The sanctuary is used when owners are going on holiday, moving home, or even require specialist care as one family member is a vet. It’s brilliant to hear our customer’s wonderful stories!”
For more information on granny annexes visit ihusannexe.com.