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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.

More information

For information about planning and Planning Permits, contact our Statutory Planning team on (03) 9278 4888 or at [email protected]

For information about building and Building Permits, contact our Building Services team on (03) 9278 4999 or at [email protected].

Before you begin

Before finalising your design:

Check if you are installing a pool or spa in a Heritage Overlay

  1. Go to VicPlan-external site and search for the address of your property.

  2. Follow the prompts to create and open a free Planning Property Report.

  3. On the Report, go to the Planning Overlay section to see whether a Heritage Overlay affects your property.
  4. 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

  1. Refer to the map from VicPlan
  2. Look for the Heritage Overlay Schedule link and take note of the schedule number.
  3. Click the Heritage Overlay Schedule link. The Schedule to the Heritage Overlay page appears.
  4. 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?

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.

If no, see if any other overlays affect the works.



Check if other overlays affect the works

Refer to the report from VicPlan-external site 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Write a cover letter explaining your proposal.
  3. Provide a site plan drawn to scale (1:100) detailing the location of the swimming pool in the context of the entire site.
  4. Provide elevations of the swimming pool drawn to scale ( 1:100).
  5. Check whether the application is eligible to be fast-tracked under VicSmart.
  6. 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.
  7. Now, see whether you need a Building Permit.

Application fees

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.

Measuring the depth of a Pool or Spa

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Complete the Application for a Building Permit.
  3. 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 there are any other permits you need before beginning works.




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:

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.


Now, go the next step.




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.

You will need to apply for a safety inspection.



Apply for a safety inspection

The safety barrier must be inspected by a registered building surveyor or building inspector to make sure it meets safety requirements. If compliant, the building surveyor will issue a Certificate of Compliance.

Our Building Services team offers a paid inspection service. To apply, contact the Building Services team on 9728 4999.

Apply for the inspection and go to the next step.

Register your pool or spa

Once you have obtained a Certificate of Compliance, you will need to register your pool or spa with us. 

The Victorian Government has introduced new regulations to improve the safety of pools and spas. All pools and spas in Victoria must be:

  • registered with their local council
  • inspected and certified every 4 years.

After you register, we will send you a letter you a letter to confirm when your next inspection is due.

For more information, see Register a pool or spa.

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-external site.

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.