Swimming pools and spas | Brisbane City Council

Swimming pools and spas

""Before building a swimming pool or spa you should find out the key facts about the property and then use the following information to find out if your swimming pool or spa project needs planning approval.


The Building Act 1975 defines a swimming pool as an excavation or structure:

  • capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300 millimetres or more
  • capable of being used for swimming, bathing, wading, paddling or other human aquatic activities
  • used, designed, manufactured or adapted for the purpose mentioned above, despite its current use.

This includes spas and wading pools (other than portable wading pools).

It does not include a:

  • fish pond
  • ornamental pond, manufactured to be used for ornamental purposes
  • dam used for aquaculture, marine research or storage of water
  • watercourse
  • spa bath situated in a bathroom which is not continually filled with water
  • birthing pool used solely for water births
  • portable wading pool.

A portable wading pool is defined as:

  • capable of being filled with water to a depth of less than 300 millimetres
  • having a volume of no more than 2,000 litres
  • having no filtration or pumping system.

No development application required

Generally, you do not need planning approval to build a swimming pool. Depending on the zone that applies, whether the site is located within a neighbourhood plan area, or is affected by an overlay, the project may require approval from Brisbane City Council.

Building Approval

You will need a building approval for your swimming pool and fence and can arrange this through a building certifier.

The construction and maintenance of both swimming pools and pool fencing must comply with the Building Act 1975, Building Regulation 2006 and relevant Australian Standards.

It is the responsibility of property owners with pools to ensure that the pool and barriers are compliant at all times. For more information, check the swimming pool safety regulations.

07 March 2019