Will a tennis court or swimming pool add value to my property?
If you’re looking to buy, or already own, a property with significant acreage, chances are you might be looking for ways to enhance your family’s enjoyment of your land and even to augment your property’s value. Frequently, high-net-worth clients will ask us about the planning implications of installing facilities such as tennis courts or swimming pools on their property, and whether doing so will actually add any value to the price of their home should they eventually wish to sell it.
Even if you’re planning to build a tennis court on your own private land, you may still need planning permission under certain circumstances. For example, if you own a listed or heritage property, you will need planning permission from your local council, as would also be the case if the proposed tennis court is likely to take up more than 50% of your garden. There are other specific cases where planning consent may be needed, so if in doubt an expert planning solicitor will be able to help you.
Whether or not having a tennis court would add value to your home, however, is a matter for debate. According to research published by GoCompare, installing a tennis court could set you back around £37,500, while only adding around £6,000 to the value of your property. On the other hand, if you’re planning to remain in your home while your children grow up, for example, then installing a tennis court could be an extremely valuable investment – even if not financially.
If you’re looking to install an outdoor swimming pool, as above this should not require planning permission unless you own a listed building, for example, or your property is located within a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty.
On the other hand, an indoor swimming pool could be subject to more stringent planning requirements and building regulations. If you’re adapting an existing area of your home to house your pool, it is likely you’ll need planning permission alongside an architect’s drawings. However, the construction of a completely new outbuilding is considered permitted development and in theory would not require planning permission, although of course there are exceptions. It is always best to check with a planning expert before embarking on a project of this nature.
Research is mixed as to the actual value a swimming pool could potentially add to your property. While recent research from Post Office Money estimates that installing a pool could add 22% to the value of your home, other sources suggest that the UK’s famously poor weather, as well as the cost of installation and ongoing maintenance, mean that a swimming pool isn’t the best investment if you’re purely looking to increase your home’s value. As with a tennis court, think of a swimming pool as an investment in your family’s lifestyle, rather than as a purely financial enterprise.