Swimming Pool Building Regulations – What you need to know

Generally, there are no building regulations that you have to follow to have your swimming pool installed. However, there are some exceptions, which we will go into in this article. So before undertaking any building work on your new pool, you should contact the planning office at your county or city council. You can discuss your project with them and they will advise you on what you can and cannot build on your land.

You can find your closest local authority in this list here.

Outdoor pools

Building regulations and planning permissions do not usually apply to outdoor swimming pools. An outdoor pool is considered by planning authorities to be a ‘garden project’. However, it is always recommended that you check with your local planning authority just in case. This is because there maybe planning permissions and building regulations that need to be addressed if your property, or the surrounding area, is classified as one of the following:

• National park
• Greenbelt land
• Conservation area
• Designated land
• A listed building

The building regulations for outdoor swimming pools only stipulate that they must be unenclosed with no heated air surrounding the pool.

Swimming Pool Building Regulations

Indoor pools

The building that houses an indoor pool is classed as a ‘permitted development’, which does not need a planning application, however, several aspects of the development will be subject to the following conditions:

The building: Outbuildings must be a single storey. The eaves should have a maximum height of 2.5 metres and a four-metre maximum overall height if there is a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof. No verandas, balconies or raised platforms (a platform must be no higher than 0.3 metres) are allowed on the building.

Dimensions: The building has to have a maximum height of 2.5 metres. It should be within two metres of a boundary of the main properties’ curtilage. The outbuilding cannot be situated on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
Location: Different regulations apply if your property is situated in a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Broads or a World Heritage Site. The maximum area covered by any buildings and pools that are situated more than 20 metres from the house is restricted to 10 square metres. If it is situated at the side of a property, you will require planning permission. Additionally, should the outbuilding be within curtilage of a listed building, planning permission is also required.

Your land: Only half the area of land surrounding your house should be covered by buildings or other additions.

The building regulations for indoor pools are more involved than that of an outdoor pool. The floor and walls of the pool must be insulated in order to minimise heat loss into the ground. This heat loss should be reduced to 0.25W/m2/0C, which equates roughly to a pool heated to 28C and the ground with a temperature of approximately 10C.

As we said earlier, contact your local planning office before starting work on the project.