Building regs for partially in-ground swimming pool

8 Nov 2013
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United Kingdom
Hello all,

Hoping for some advice on whether building regs apply to a project I'm considering.

We have had a 16x8ft steel framed pool for a couple of years, but now wanting to make something that looks a little better. We always get enough usage of it and well aware of heating costs etc, so I'd just like some opinions on the planning permission / building regs aspects please.

I intend to excavate about 6m x 4m to a depth of about 600mm. There will be retaining walls around the perimeter, with adequate footings and drainage.

I will then place a wooden above-ground pool into the "hole".
Something similar to this

It will protrude about 500mm above the ground level and there will be no permanent enclosure.

This is all in our rear garden.

Ideally, with the shape of the space we have, the pool will be about 800mm from our side boundary, at it's closest.

I've been searching online and there is a lot of contradicting advice, but what I gather that there will be no planning permission required for an outdoor pool with no enclosure, regardless of distance to boundary. The PWA isn't a problem as it's about 8 meters from the retaining wall to the neighbour's closest foundation.

Building regs Part L don't seem to apply because it's not covered by a heated/ventilated enclosure. But my only concern is the <1m to boundary and it being more than 15 square meters, and made of the wooden combustible material.

The definition of "building" in the building regs is "any permanent or temporary building but not any other kind of structure or erection.."

So I would think that a pool is an "other kind of structure of erection", so building regs don't apply?

But then the Building Act has another definition of a building, that includes other structures.

Can anyone shed any light please?
Last edited:
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