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Do You Need Planning Permission For Swimming Pools?

Do You Need Planning Permission For Swimming Pools?

 

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Swimming pools are a luxury addition to any property, offering a beautiful space for relaxation and entertainment. However, before you dive into building your dream pool, it’s important to understand the requirements that may be involved for planning permission for swimming pools.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the concept of permitted development, the limitations and constraints that need to be considered, and you may need to apply for planning permission for the swimming pools construction. 

We will also discuss the process of applying for planning permission for swimming pools, the importance of a lawful development certificate, and the building regulations that need to be followed for indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

So, let’s explore everything you need to know about planning permission for swimming pools.

What is Permitted Development?

When it comes to planning permission fro swimming pools, many property owners may be familiar with the term “permitted development.” But what does it actually mean? In simple terms, permitted development refers to specific building alterations or projects that can be undertaken without the need for official planning permission. 

It gives property owners a level of freedom to make certain changes to their homes or properties within specific limits, streamlining the planning process for minor building works.

Understanding the Concept of Permitted Development

Permitted development is a broad concept that encompasses a range of building alterations. It allows property owners to carry out certain developments that are considered “permitted” under planning regulations, granting them development rights without the need for planning permission. 

This concept aims to simplify the planning process for minor building works, reducing the burden of seeking approvals for every small project. Understanding permitted development is essential for homeowners and developers to ensure legal compliance and to take advantage of the rights granted for specific types of development.

The Role of Permitted Development in Swimming Pool Construction

When it comes to swimming pool construction, permitted development rules play a significant role. In certain cases, building a swimming pool can benefit from the permitted development rights, providing a more straightforward route for obtaining approval without the need for formal planning permission.

Understanding permitted development regulations is important for indoor swimming pools. However, planning permission for swimming pools is crucial for those looking to add a pool to their garden, as it determines the regulatory requirements, limitations, and constraints for pool construction.

Permitted development swimming pool

Permitted Development Limitations and Constraints

While permitted development grants a level of freedom, it is not without limitations and constraints. Understanding these limitations and constraints is crucial to avoid legal issues and ensure compliance with planning regulations.

Legal Restrictions on Permitted Developments

Certain legal restrictions can limit the types of development permitted under permitted development rights. These legal restrictions may prohibit certain types of development or impose additional requirements for approval.

It’s important to be aware of the legal restrictions that apply in your area to ensure compliance with planning regulations. Local planning authorities enforce these restrictions to maintain the character of designated areas.

Environmental and Location-based Constraints

In addition to legal restrictions, there are environmental and location-based constraints that need to be considered. These constraints can impact the types of developments that are permitted under permitted development rights. Here are a few examples of environmental and location-based constraints:

  • Conservation Area: Developments in conservation areas may have stricter regulations due to the need for preservation.
  • National Park: Within national parks, development rights may be more limited to protect the natural beauty and landscape.

Understanding these environmental and location-based constraints is essential for the development and application of planning permission for swimming pools, that may be subject to these limitations.

When Do You Need Permitted Development For A Swimming Pool?

Now, let’s explore when building a swimming pool falls under permitted development rights, allowing you to proceed without the need for planning permission for swimming pools.

Criteria for Permitted Development For Swimming Pools

Criteria for permitted development for swimming pools include considerations for outdoor pools and the maximum overall height of the pool structure. These criteria help determine whether a swimming pool project can proceed under permitted development rights. It’s important to be familiar with the specific criteria for swimming pool development to ensure compliance and a successful pool project.

Planning permission for indoor swimming pool

When Do You Need Planning Permission For Swimming Pools?

While permitted development rights can streamline the planning process, there are scenarios where you will need planning permission for swimming pools. Let’s explore these scenarios further.

Scenarios Requiring Planning Permission For Swimming Pools

Swimming pool projects located within listed buildings, areas of outstanding natural beauty, or other designated areas may require planning permission. These scenarios necessitate a more comprehensive planning application process to ensure the pool project aligns with local planning regulations.

Careful consideration of the site’s surroundings, architectural heritage, and local regulations is crucial for determining whether you will need planning permission for the swimming pool construction.

Applying For Planning Permission For Swimming Pools: A General Overview

When it is clear that you need to apply for planning permission for the swimming pool construction, you need to navigate the application process. This involves submitting a planning application to the local planning authority, and providing detailed plans, and supporting documents for review.

Understanding the guidelines and requirements for the planning permission application process is essential. Utilising resources like the planning portal or consulting a qualified town planner can help streamline the process and improve the chances of a successful application.

Importance of Lawful Development Certificate for Permitted Developments

Even for swimming pool projects that fall under permitted development rights, obtaining a lawful development certificate is of great importance. Let’s explore why this certificate is essential.

What Is A Lawful Development Certificate?

A Lawful Development Certificate is a legal document that confirms a swimming pool project’s compliance with permitted development rights. It serves as a definitive source of legal information, providing proof of the swimming pool’s compliance with planning rules. Whether you’re building a new structure, an indoor pool, or an outdoor pool, obtaining a Lawful Development Certificate helps navigate the application process and provides peace of mind for your pool project.

Why Is It Important For Permitted Developments?

Understanding the importance of a lawful development certificate for permitted developments is crucial. It allows outdoor swimming pool and indoor pool projects to proceed without the need for planning permission for swimming pools, streamlining the planning application process for a new pool project. 

By obtaining a Lawful Development Certificate, you ensure that your swimming pool project follows the planning regime. This minimises the risk of retrospective planning issues and provides confidence for both homeowners and pool builders alike.

Outdoor swimming pool

The Process Of Applying For Planning Permission For Swimming Pools

Now, let’s dive into the process of applying for planning permission for swimming pools.

Preparing Your Planning Permission Application

Preparing a planning permission application for swimming pools involves several key steps. These steps include gathering the necessary documentation including architect drawings, supporting planning statements, and familiarising yourself with local planning authority regulations. It’s vital to be well-prepared when submitting a planning permission application to increase the chances of approval for your pool project.

Navigating The Planning Permission Approval Process

Navigating the planning permission approval process can be a complex task. It involves understanding regulations for maximum height, heat retention, ground conditions, and more. Seeking guidance from planning offices, consulting planning rules, and utilising solutions like the Planning Portal can help you successfully navigate applying for planning permission for swimming pools.

Indoor swimming pool

Building Regulations Requirements For Swimming Pools

Apart from planning permission, swimming pools are also subject to building regulations. Let’s explore these requirements in more detail.

Key Building Regulations For Indoor Swimming Pools

Indoor swimming pool construction has specific building regulations to ensure thermal performance, safety, and a comfortable swimming environment. These regulations cover aspects such as heated air, U value, and maximum overall height, among others. Adhering to building regulations for indoor swimming pools is crucial for a successful pool project and ensures compliance with local regulations.

Key Building Regulations For Outdoor Swimming Pools

Outdoor swimming pools also have building regulations that need to be followed. These regulations focus on heat loss, heat retention, and ground conditions, among other factors. Compliance with outdoor swimming pool building regulations is essential for planning a new pool project, ensuring a safe and environmentally friendly swimming area.

How to find out if you need planning permission for a swimming pool

How To Find Out If You Do Need Planning Permission For Swimming Pools?

Determining whether you need planning permission for swimming pools is a crucial step in the planning process. The need for planning permission can depend on various factors, including the type of swimming pool, the square footage, and the location. To determine if you need planning permission for swimming pools, there are two options. You can submit a pre-application to your local council or a qualified town planner can conduct a planning appraisal.

Option 1 – Pre-Application

Engaging in a pre-application process can benefit those looking to construct a swimming pool. If your local council offers pre-application services, it could be a suitable option. Architectural plans and a detailed written proposal will be required. A pre-application may incur fees of up to £600 and the waiting period for a response could be as long as 8 weeks. It should be noted that the response is not legally binding and does not guarantee approval for any subsequent application.

Option 2 – Planning Appraisal

We can also carry out a planning appraisal. Our experienced town planners can perform the same assessments as the council, such as assessing relevant planning policies, examining the planning history, and identifying any planning constraints at the site. The key distinction is that architectural drawings or a detailed written proposal are not required, and we can deliver the responses within a day instead of a possible 8-week wait.

Planning Permission For Swimming Pools: The Verdict

Understanding the regulations and requirements when applying for planning permission for swimming pools is crucial to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process. While permitted development offers flexibility in some cases, it’s important to be aware of its limitations and constraints.

Depending on various factors such as size, location, and environmental considerations, you may need planning permission for swimming pools.

Applying for planning permission for swimming pools can be a complex process, but with the right guidance and preparation, you can navigate through it successfully. Additionally, obtaining a Lawful Development Certificate is important to validate your permitted development.

To determine if you need to apply for planning permission for swimming pools or if you need assistance throughout the process, feel free to get in touch with our experts who will provide you with the necessary guidance and support.

Grant Singlehurst-Ward

AuthorGrant Singlehurst-WardFOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR


A serial entrepreneur with background in sales and marketing, Grant is the founder and managing director. He founded Planning By Design to provide clients with the highest possible level of service at unbeatable prices.

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