Install a pool or spa
You may need a Planning Permit, a Building Permit or both to install a swimming pool or spa.
Depending on your circumstances, you may also need a:
- Tree Protection Local Law Permit
- Road or Footpath Occupancy Permit
- Asset Protection Permit
- Safety barrier during construction
- Safety inspection
How to use this guide
To help you work out which permits you need, begin at Step 1 and answer the questions one at a time. You will be asked to look at overlay information and to measure the depth of the pool or spa. You will also learn about which safety precautions need to be in place during construction.
Before you begin
Before finalising your design:
- Check whether your project involves removing, pruning or carrying out works near a protected tree. You may need a permit for the tree works.
- Check for easements on your property. When an easement is obstructed, it can prevent important maintenance work and block the flow of stormwater. If your plans impact an easement, it may be necessary to modify your plans.
- See if the property is listed under Schedule to Clause 51.01 Specific Sites and Exclusions. If the property is listed, contact Statutory Planning on 9278 4888 to find out about special restrictions and exemptions that apply.
Check if you are installing a pool or spa in a Heritage Overlay
- Visit Planning Maps Online and search for the address of your property.
- Select Get Report. Follow the prompts to create and open a free Planning Property Report.
- On the Report, go to the Planning Overlay section to see whether a Heritage Overlay affects your property.
- In the Planning Overlay section, look at the map to see the area of your site covered by the Heritage Overlay. Refer to your plans to see whether you will be installing a swimming pool or spa in that area.
Are the proposed works in a Heritage Overlay?
Check if your property is on the Victorian Heritage Register
- Refer to the map from Planning Maps Online.
- Look for the Heritage Overlay Schedule link and take note of the schedule number.
- Click the Heritage Overlay Schedule link. The Schedule to the Heritage Overlay page appears.
- Find your schedule number. See whether the 'Included on the Victorian Heritage Register' column displays 'Yes' for your schedule number.
If the property is on the Victorian Heritage Register:
- You may need approval from Heritage Victoria for or any buildings and works including internal changes. Contact Heritage Victoria for advice on how to apply for their approval.
- You may continue to apply for other permits while your Heritage Victoria application is being assessed. But you can only begin construction after all necessary approvals and permits are granted.
- Note that you may also require a Planning Permit from Council if your property is affected by other overlays. These are discussed later in this guide.
Is your property listed on the Victorian Heritage Register?
- If yes, contact Heritage Victoria and apply for their approval. Then check for other overlays that affect your works.
- If no, check the visibility of your works in a Heritage Overlay.
Check the visibility of a pool or spa in a Heritage Overlay
Consider whether the pool or spa will be visible from a public park or street (excluding laneways).
Will passers-by in a street or public park be able to see the pool or spa?
If yes, apply for a Planning Permit.
Check if other overlays affect the works
Refer to the report from Planning Maps Online and see whether the works are within any of the following:
- Design and Development Overlay
- Special Building Overlay
- Land Subject to Inundation Overlay
- Public Acquisition Overlay.
Are the proposed works in a Design and Development Overlay, Special Building Overlay, Land Subject to Inundation Overlay or Public Acquisition Overlay?
Apply for a Planning Permit, if needed
If you have determined that you need a Planning Permit for your project:
- Obtain a clear copy of your Certificate of Title, including the lot plan. You can get this from the Landata website. The Certificate of Title must be no more than 28 days' old.
- Write a cover letter explaining your proposal.
- Provide a site plan drawn to scale (1:100) detailing the location of the swimming pool in the context of the entire site.
- Provide elevations of the swimming pool drawn to scale ( 1:100).
- Check whether the application is eligible to be fast-tracked under VicSmart.
- Complete the Planning Permit application form and lodge the form, fee and supporting documents with Council.
To download the form and submit the application, see Apply for a Planning Permit.
- Now, see whether you need a Building Permit.
If the application is VicSmart, the following fees apply:
$199.90 if the cost of the works is less than $10,000.
$429.50 if the cost of the works is greater than $10,000
If the application is not VicSmart, the following fees apply:
$199.90 if the cost of the works is less than $10,000.
$629.40 if the cost of the works is between $10,001 and $100,000
$1288.50 if the cost of the works is between $100,001 and $500,000.
Check the depth of the pool or spa
Consider how deep the water in the pool or spa will be.
Measure the distance from the floor of the pool or spa to the surface of the water. See whether the distance is more than 30cm.
Will you be installing a pool or spa in which the water will be more than 30cm deep?
Apply for a Building Permit, if needed
If you have determined that you need a Building Permit for your project:
- Read the Building Permit Application Checklist to determine which supporting documents you need for your circumstances. If you are unsure what you need, contact the Building Services team on 9278 4999 or email Building Services.
- Complete the Application for a Building Permit.
- Lodge the Building Permit application form, fee and supporting documents with Council.
You may lodge the application for a Building Permit while other permit applications are still being processed, but may only begin construction when all required permits are granted
See whether you need to apply for any other permits
Consider whether there are any other permits you need before beginning construction.
If you need to:
- remove or do works within 2m of a protected tree, you need to apply for a Tree Protection Local Law Permit
- prune or do works within the Tree Protection Zone of a significant tree, you need to apply for a Tree Protection Local Law Permit
- store equipment on a road, footpath or naturestrip, you need to apply for a Road or Footpath Occupancy Permit.
If your works could affect public assets , such as roads, footpath or naturestrips, you need to apply for an Asset Protection Permit.
If you will be building a front, side or rear fence to enclose the pool of spa, see whether you need Planning and Building Permits for fences.
Prepare to construct the pool or spa
After all relevant permits are granted, you may begin works.
If your project required a Building Permit, you will need additional safety precautions and approvals during construction.
Did you need a Building Permit for your pool or spa?
- If yes, go to the next step.
- If no, as long as all required permits are granted, you can begin construction. You may exit the guide.
Install a safety barrier during construction
Refer to your Building Permit and carefully read all instructions relating to safe construction for your pool or spa.
You must install a safety barrier. You may also need to put up temporary fencing until you have installed a barrier that meets the conditions of the Building Permit.
We advise that you consult the Relevant Building Surveyor who issued the Building Permit to check whether there are any other safety precautions that are conditions to the permit.
Apply for a safety inspection
The safety barrier must be inspected by a Registered Building Surveyor or Building Inspector. If compliant, the Building Surveyor will issue a Certificate of Final Inspection.
Our Building Services team offers a paid service for the inspection of existing pool or spa safety barriers. This identifies any safety issues that need to be fixed to ensure that the safety barrier is being maintained and is compliant.
To request a safety inspection:
- Complete the Application for a Pool/Spa Safety Barrier Inspection.
- Lodge the application form and fee with Council. The inspection incurs a fee of $328.
You may now exit the guide.
Statutory Planning aims to respond to Planning Permit applications within 60 days, as governed by the Planning and Environment Act.
Building Permit applications are assessed within 10 business days. The response is usually a request for further information that is required before a Building Permit can be issued.