Do You Need Planning Permission for a Pool in Ireland?

Matt Keane
July 3, 2023

If you're contemplating installing a pool in your home and wondering, "Do you need planning permission for a pool in Ireland?" this comprehensive blog post will provide you with the necessary information. By the end, you'll have an in-depth understanding of planning permission for pools in Ireland. BuildPro, a renowned consultation company in Ireland, is here to help you navigate the often confusing process, ensuring a seamless and stress-free experience.

Understanding Planning Permission in Ireland

Before diving into the specific question of "Do you need planning permission for a pool, "let's take a quick look at what planning permission is and why it's important. In Ireland, planning permission is the approval granted by local authorities to develop or alter a property. The process ensures that any construction or changes made to a property align with regional and national guidelines, thus preserving the environment and maintaining the quality of life for local residents.

When Do You Need Planning Permission?

Generally, you need planning permission if you're carrying out any of the following activities:

  • Constructing a new building
  • Making significant alterations or extensions to an existing structure
  • Changing the use of a building or land

However, certain developments are considered exempt and don't require planning permission. These are called "exempted developments."

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Pool in Ireland?

The short answer is: it depends. In most cases, installing a swimming pool in your garden is considered an exempted development so you won't need planning permission. However, there are specific criteria that your pool project must meet to qualify as exempt. Failing to meet these criteria will require you to obtain planning permission before starting your project.

Criteria for Exempted Swimming Pools

To be considered an exempted development, your swimming pool project must:

  • Be located in the rear or side garden of your property
  • Not exceed a height of 1 metre above ground level
  • Maintain a minimum distance of 1 metre from any boundary
  • Not reduce the open space in your garden to less than 25 square metres per dwelling

However, even if your pool meets these conditions, it's still advisable to consult with your local planning authority to ensure you fully comply with the regulations.

Planning Permission Process for Pools in Ireland

Now that we've established that you generally do need planning permission for a pool, let's delve into the planning permission process itself.

Pre-Application Consultation

Before submitting your application, it's essential to seek professional advice and guidance from a consultation company like BuildPro. They can help you determine whether your proposed pool requires planning permission and provide assistance in preparing your application.

Submitting Your Application

Once confident in your plans, you must submit a planning application to your local planning authority. This application should include:

  • A completed application form.
  • Site location map and layout plans.
  • Detailed drawings of your proposed pool.
  • A design statement, if required.
  • The relevant application fee.

The Decision Process

After submitting your application, your local planning authority will review your proposal and make a decision within eight weeks. They may approve, approve with conditions, or refuse your application. If your application is refused or you disagree with the conditions imposed, you can appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanála.

Obtaining Final Approval

Once you've received planning permission, you can proceed with your pool project. However, ensure that you adhere to any conditions or restrictions specified in your planning permission, as failure can result in penalties or legal action.

Factors to Consider When Applying for Planning Permission

When applying for planning permission for a swimming pool, several factors need to be considered. These factors determine the likelihood of your application's approval and can influence the overall process.

Location and Size of the Pool

The location and size of the swimming pool play a significant role in determining whether planning permission will be granted. Local authorities will assess the pool's impact on the surrounding area, including any potential privacy issues, noise pollution, and the overall visual appearance. The closer the pool is to your house or your neighbour's property, the more likely it may raise concerns with the local authority.

Pool Safety and Security

Another critical factor when applying for planning permission is ensuring the pool area is safe and secure. This includes appropriate fencing, locked gates, and potentially a pool cover to prevent accidents, particularly if young children are in the household or nearby.

Environmental Impact

Local authorities will also consider the environmental impact of the swimming pool, including any potential effects on local wildlife, drainage, and water usage. You may be required to incorporate sustainable features, such as a rainwater harvesting system or energy-efficient pool heating, to minimise the pool's environmental footprint.

How BuildPro Can Help with Planning Permission for Your Swimming Pool?

At BuildPro, we understand the complexities of the planning permission process for swimming pools in Ireland. Our expert consultation services can help you navigate the system and ensure your application succeeds. We can assist with the following:

  • Site assessment and advice on the most suitable pool location
  • Preparing and submitting planning permission applications
  • Providing guidance on pool safety, security, and environmental considerations
  • Liaising with local authorities on your behalf

Hire BuildPro for Expert Pool Planning Permission Guidance

Navigating the planning permission process for a pool in Ireland can be complex. BuildPro, a leading consulting company, can provide expert guidance and support throughout the process, ensuring your pool project complies with all local regulations and requirements. If you're still wondering, "Do you need planning permission for a pool," contact BuildPro today, and let us help you make your dream pool a reality.

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