With the smell of fresh strawberries and the roar of the crowds at Wimbledon about to fade, this highlight event of the summer endorses the perennial popularity of tennis – and courts are never far from the top of the ‘wanted’ list for those seeking a country house.
Whilst anyone prepared to invest the time and dedication can turn their lawn into a grass court (assuming it is large enough! – including run-backs you need a 34.75m length and 17.07m width), the majority of country house buyers prefer the instant playability of a hard court.
But what is seldom appreciated is just what is involved in creating one – not only the ground works (in preparing and levelling the site) and building the court (the cost of even a basic hard court lying between £33,000 and £60,000, dependent on the ground works) – but also in gaining the necessary consents.
Whilst Listed Building consent is certainly required if the main house is Listed, most courts also require planning consent (if only for the netting – as any ‘fence’ over two metres high requires consent). What few people realise is that consent will normally only be granted for a court if it lies entirely within the ‘residential curtilage’ of the house – the area habitually used as garden (which may be evidenced by what previous owners have shown within historic planning applications) – siting a court on an adjoining paddock (or even a former riding school) is almost certainly doomed to fail.
So those planning to build a tennis court will certainly require a large garden….. Either that, or you can rely on us to find a good local tennis club!