difference between site plan and location plan
Planning permission for swimming pools

TerraQuest News

- Aug 2022

Planning Permission For Swimming Pools

Are you looking to add a swimming pool to your home? The addition of a swimming pool makes an attractive and eye-catching centerpiece to a home. A pool can increase not only your social worth but also the value of your home. But do you need planning permission for indoor and outdoor swimming pools? Keep reading to find out.

Planning Permission for Outdoor Swimming Pools

Homeowners with a big enough garden can build an outdoor pool under their permitted development rights. This is because swimming pools are covered by Class E for householders, meaning that they can be built without planning permission (if they stay within the regulations). If your property doesn’t lie within one of the exceptional areas, then a 50% rule applies:

  • You’ll first need a sitemap with your house and your garden.
  • Subtract the area of the house as it was originally built (or, for older houses, as it was in 1948), do not include any extensions, garages as that is a separate building.

This leaves you with a total of the area surrounding the house. For permitted development purposes, only 50% of that surrounding area can have any kind of structure on it. Add together the land occupied by sheds, extensions, and garages, plus your planned swimming pool (and any structures to go with the pool e.g. hot tub). Make sure all of this comes to no more than 50% of the area.

Please note, under permitted development, your pool cannot be in front of the principal elevation of your house.

Planning permission for pools

Listed Buildings:

You always need planning permission to build an outdoor pool on the land surrounding a listed building.

Permitted Development Rights:

Further regulations for outdoor swimming pools apply if your property is in a World Heritage Site, a National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), or the Broads.

  • Any areas that are more than 20m from the house, only 10sq m can contain any type of structure e.g. a pool.
  • The pool has to be behind the line of the back of the house, not to the side of the house.

Planning Permission for Indoor Pool

If you already have the space in your home for an indoor swimming pool, planning permission is unlikely to be required. However, if you need to build it as an extension or outbuilding then you will need to check with your local planning authority.

The outbuildings that include a swimming pool are known as pool halls and these will fall under your permitted development rights in the majority of cases. You need to make sure your pool hall meets the limits and conditions before you build. 

Please note that the construction of a swimming pool means you need space for a plant room too so be sure to take this into account when designing.

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Understanding planning rules with TerraQuest's Interactive House

Our interactive experience explains the permitted planning rules and building regulations for over 50 common projects around the home that apply to detached, semi-detached, terrace, flats and shops.

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Save time and money with our location and site plan service

Most planning applications need a location plan which shows the proposal in its surrounding context and a site plan (also known as a block plan) which shows the development in more detail. It needs to display any roads and/or buildings on land adjoining the application site.

You can create and buy your location and site plans and attach them to your online application. If you are not sure whether your plans are suitable or require further assistance you should contact your Local Planning Authority for advice.


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