The economy may have gone pear-shaped but it seems Rishi Sunak is determined that the same won’t happen to him.
The multi-millionaire Chancellor and his wife are to build a mini leisure complex in the grounds of their £2million manor house in Yorkshire.
Councillors have approved plans for a new building on farmland to house a swimming pool, gym and shower facilities, along with an adjoining outdoor tennis court.
No doubt the Chancellor will be keen to get value for money, but even at a conservative estimate the project is likely to cost more than £400,000.
But that won’t trouble the former hedge fund financier, whose wife Akshata is a fashion designer and daughter of an Indian tech billionaire.
The economy may have gone pear-shaped but it seems Rishi Sunak is determined that the same won’t happen to him
The couple, who have two daughters, often spend weekends at the Grade II-listed 19th century former vicarage in his North Yorkshire constituency.
And once the L-shaped building, complete with stone walls and Welsh slate roof, is completed there will be no shortage of healthy and fun activities for them to do.
Mr Sunak plans to build a 40ft by 16ft indoor pool. In the same building will be a gym which will contain a mirrored wall and ballet barre, perhaps for his daughters.
There’s also going to be a television fixed to the wall nearby, enabling them to follow fitness or dance videos.
The Chancellor has previously admitted being a devotee of keeping fit on a Peloton bike – which costs £1,750, plus a monthly membership of £39 – and a treadmill.
Mr Sunak said he is usually at his desk by 7.45am but often he will ‘do treadmill, Peloton or some gym class’ first.
He said he was a ‘huge fan’ of the Peloton bike workout videos by Cody Rigsby, a professional New York-based dancer turned fitness trainer.
The multi-millionaire Chancellor and his wife are to build a mini leisure complex in the grounds of their £2million manor house in Yorkshire
Councillors have approved plans for a new building on farmland to house a swimming pool, gym and shower facilities, along with an adjoining outdoor tennis court
‘I’m a huge Cody Rigsby fan,’ he told the Twenty Minute VC podcast. ‘He has been my long-term favourite, which means you do have to listen to a lot of Britney [Spears] – but you know, no bad thing in trying to get you motivated, I guess.’
Giving a clear indication of why he is building the pool and gym, he has also said: ‘I hate running outside. I prefer the treadmill. The treadmill’s my thing.’
The tennis court, with a green rubberised surface, is likely to cost at least £50,000 and the pool £100,000, without taking into account the cost of the building, its facilities and gym.
Members of the Hambleton District Council planning committee went to the Chancellor’s home for a site visit before giving consent for a change of use from agricultural land in order to approve the 68ft by 66ft complex.
Mr Sunak is a popular local figure and had no trouble from other residents of the village.
No doubt the Chancellor will be keen to get value for money, but even at a conservative estimate the project is likely to cost more than £400,000. Above: Mr Sunak goes for a run
The parish council supported the scheme and no locals raised objections because it will be out of public view.
But some expressed concern that the building wouldn’t look enough like a farm building.
Councillor John Noone said: ‘It doesn’t look like an agricultural building to me, it looks like a rather large bungalow.
‘I think it does actually have an impact on the setting of the Grade II manor house. When we went on the site visit you could clearly see the manor house from where we were stood.’
Councillor Andy Wake said it should be sent back ‘to get a better design of building’. But these concerns were dismissed by colleagues and the committee approved the scheme.
When finished, the pool house will certainly add value to the main property – not that the family have any concerns on that front.
The couple’s main London residence, a five-bedroom mews house in Kensington, is reported to be worth around £7million.
And there is also an apartment, under his wife’s name, in Santa Monica, California.
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