Swimming Pools

Exemptions from development and building approval may apply to certain swimming pools provided they comply with relevant provisions of Regulations. Examples include reinforced concrete swimming pools, reinforced plastic liner pools, demountable swimming pools and inflatable paddling pools.

Please note that water restrictions or permanent water conservation measures may be in force in the ACT and may prohibit or affect the filling of new swimming pools using ACT potable (tap) water drawn from ACTEW Corporation Limited’s potable water supply system.  Applicants wishing to use potable water drawn from  the potable water supply system to fill a new pool are advised to first contact Icon water's conservation office on phone: (02) 6248 3111.

Exemptions from development approval

The development does not need development approval if it complies with relevant provisions of the Planning and Development Regulation 2008, Schedule 1. Below is a summary of the provisions and is correct as of the date the web page was last updated - scroll to the bottom of the web page to find this - however the Regulation's Schedule may been updated since then. In summary, the development is exempt provided that:

  • no part is between a front boundary and a building line for the block;
  • no part is within 1.5m of a side boundary or rear boundary for the block;
  • if it has an associated structure with an elevated floor, including a deck, landing, stairs or ramp for the pool, but not including a retaining wall or landscaping for the pool,  the height of the finished floor level is not more than 1m above finished ground level
  • the pool’s reservoir is not more than 1.5m above natural ground level; and
  • it complies with relevant general exemption criteria

See definitions to understand the terms in italics.

Exemptions from building approval

The development does not need building approval if it complies with relevant provisions of the Building (General) Regulation 2008, Schedule 1 and section 6. Below is a summary of the provisions. It is correct as of the date the web page was last updated - scroll to the bottom of the web page to find this - however the Regulation's Schedule may been updated since then. In summary, the development is exempt provided that:

  • it can hold water no deeper than 300mm

Note: following attainment of building approval for initial assembly the reassembly or taking apart the reservoir of the demountable pool, excluding fencing or barriers is exempt from building approval if:

  • its water reservoir can be taken apart and assembled by hand or with hand tools without damaging the pool’s components; and
  • pool fencing and barriers required under Building Act 2004 to restrict access of young children to pool and immediate pool surrounds are in place before the pool is able to hold water, and the arrangement of the pool and fencing and barriers is consistent with the certificate of occupancy and use granted for them under that Act.
  • it will not affect the structural integrity of any part of a building for which a Certificate of Occupancy or other certificate under the Building Act 2004, part 5, has been issued
  • it will not affect a fire-rated wall, ceiling or floor
  • it will not affect a ventilation or air-handling system, fire protection system or other mechanical service
  • it will not affect a fire escape, emergency lift, stairway, exit or passageway to an exit
  • it will not affect the natural light of ventilation available to a building for which a certificate under the Act, part 5, has been issued
  • it will not affect the building in a way that reduces its compliance with the Building Code to a level that is less than the minimum requirements of the Code
  • it does not involve handling asbestos or disturbing friable asbestos (other than minor maintenance work, i.e. low-speed or hand-drilling, sealing, painting, coating if done personally by the owner or occupier of the premises).

For swimming pools, building approval, certifier, plans, inspections, certificates, design and construction standards are required under the Building Act 2004 and apply to the initial erection or assembly of all swimming pools that can hold water deeper than 300mm.

The ACT Government is committed to improving the accessibility of web content. To provide feedback or request an accessible version of a document please contact us or phone 13 22 81.