Swimming Pool and Pool Fences

A building application to Council for a building permit is required for a Swimming Pool under the Building Act 1975. 
Your building application must include construction details of the pool safety fence and gate.

A building permit is required if:

  • The pool/spa is capable of being filled with water to a depth exceeding 300mm, and
  • The capacity of the pool/spa is capable of exceeding 2000 litres, and
  • The pool/spa will be fitted with a filtration system.

Development approvals for the construction of a pool and pool fence are valid for six months and under legislation the final inspection must be carried out before the six months expires.  If the development approval is for a building structure (dwelling) and includes the pool then the permit is valid for two years and the building work is to be completed by the end of this period.

A pool fence is required to be constructed if:

  • The pool walls are less than 1200mm high from the ground level, or
  • It has climbable members on the pool wall, or
  • There are objects such as filters and other fixtures fixed to the pool which are within the non-climbable zone.

In December 2010 the State Government established a database of regulated pools.  A regulated pool is described in the Building Act 1975 (s231B) as a swimming pool situated on regulated land includes that barriers of the pool.

Regulated pools both new and existing must comply with pool safety standards to obtain a pool safety certificate which is then detailed on a register and accessible on the government website. A current pol safety certificate is required when selling or leasing a property that has a regulated pool.

Other important information to note:

Swimming Pool Type Definitions

Swimming Pool(Building Act 1975 , Schedule 2)

An excavation or structure:

a)     Capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300mm or more; and
b)    Capable of being used for swimming, bathing, wading, paddling or some other human aquatic activity; and
c)     Solely or principally used, or designed, manufactured or adapted to be solely or principally used, for the purposes mentioned in paragraph b) despite its current use and includes a spa pool, spa tub or similar thing (whether portable or fixed) and a wading pool (other than a portable wading pool).

But does not include:

d) A fish pond or pool solely or principally used, or designed, manufactured or adapted to be solely or principally used, for ornamental purposes, or
e) A dam or tank solely or principally used, or designed, manufactured or adapted to be solely or principally used, for aquaculture, marine research or storage of water; or
f) A watercourse; or
g) A portable wading pool (see definition below); or
h) A spa bath situated in a bathroom, other than a spa bath continually filled with water to a depth of more than300mm; or
i) A birthing pool used solely for water births.

Indoor Swimming Pool

a)     A swimming pool completely enclosed by the walls of a building or
b)    A swimming pool on a deck or roof top of a building if the pool is, under the usual ways of entering or leaving the building, only accessible from the inside of the building.

Portable Wading Pool

a)     Capable of being filled with water to a depth of no more than 300mm and
b)    Has a volume of no more than 2000 litres and
c)     Has no filtration system.

Siting Requirements

The Queensland Development Code regulates siting requirements for Class 1 and Class 10 type structures.

Documentation Required For a Swimming Pool and Pool Safety Fence Application

  • DA Form - 2 Building work requiring assessment against the Building Act 1975
  • QBCC Insurance >$3,300
Floor Plans (min scale 1:100 – 1 set)
  • Elevation and section plans – full dimensions
  • Engineer certified design details (Note: engineer to also provide Form 15 – Certificate of Design Compliance)
  • The maximum water level or overflow point
  • Capacity of the pool
  • Fence construction details – show direction of gate opening/closing
  • If any retaining walls/other structures proposed, then provide construction details
  • Filter details (type, location and capacity)
  • If electrical lighting in pool, earthing provision details
  • Elevation of the building if the building is to be used as part of the pool enclosure. Doors and windows are to be shown on the plan and elevation.
Site Plan (min scale 1:200 – 1 set)
  • Full outline of property with site dimensions
  • Location of ALL existing buildings and pool and pool fencing
  • North point
  • Road frontages to be identified
  • Easement/ covenant areas on the site
  • Distance of the pool/pool fencing/any proposed buildings from the boundaries
  • Location of sewer / method of disposing of water overflow and backwash discharge from the pool.
  • Details of any site works that must be carried out as part of or for the development.
  • Location of skimmer box, inlet, hydrostatic relief valve
  • Any permanent objects such as trees or other structures that are within 1200mm of the fence (these may be used to gain access into the pool area).