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Swimming Pools

Swimming pools with a capacity depth less than 300mm and that do not incorporate a filtration system do not require development approval. Spa pools constructed in association with a dwelling, and are primarily used by the occupants of that dwelling, do not require development approval if their capacity does not exceed 680 litres.

Legislation that came into effect from 1 January 2004 requires all new above ground swimming pools deeper than 300mm and with a water filtration system to obtain development approval from Council.

In certain circumstances, swimming pools and spa pools do not require Development Plan Consent, only Building Rules Consent. This will be determined by Council's staff once you lodge your development application.

Any new swimming pools (built from 1 July 1993) must comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian Standard AS 1926. The BCA includes provisions which require child resistant doors and windows where they open directly into the pool enclosure.

All pools must have suitable safety barriers to restrict access by young children to the immediate pool surrounds, constructed in accordance with Australian Standard AS 1926.1 (standards can be purchased from Standards Australia or SAI Global).

If you are obtaining development approval for a periodic swimming pool (ie. dismantled and stored at the end of summer), you are not required to obtain further approvals provided it is placed in approximately the same location within a two year period.

If you are selling your property with a swimming pool or spa pool, you are responsible for making sure that current safety requirements for swimming pool safety are met. This may mean you have to upgrade fencing or barriers. Swimming pool and spa pool safety regulations apply from 1 October 2008. All homes with pools and spa pools must now have up-to-date child-safety barriers in place before the property can be sold.

It is the responsibility of the pool owner to make sure that current pool safety requirements are met prior to settlement date, when selling a property with a swimming pool and/or spa. Specific pool safety requirements are set by Australian Standard AS1926.1 adopted by the State Government.

Under the Standard, all swimming pools and spa pools must have a continuous safety barrier that is maintained by the pool owner and which restricts access by young children to the pool and the immediate pool surrounds. The requirements are determined via the date when the pool or spa pool was built.

Pools built before 1 July 1993

If the property where a swimming pool or spa pool is located is not for sale, the pool can continue to comply with the old Swimming Pools Safety Act 1972.The Act requires a swimming pool or spa pool owner to ensure that the pool is enclosed by a fence, wall or building to restrict access by young children.

If the property is sold after 1 October 2008, the child-safety barriers must comply with Ministerial Building Standard MBS 004 before settlement. This means that barriers must be installed to separate the pool area from the house where ever possible.

The Ministerial Building Standard MBS 004 took effect on 5 September 2019 by notice in the Government Gazette.   Section 156 of the Planning Development and Infrastructure Act 2016, together with the Planning, Development and Infrastructure (Swimming Pool Safety) Regulations 2019 replace section 71AA of the Development Act 1993 from 1 July 2019 onwards.

Pools built on or after 1 July 1993

Swimming pools or spa pools built on or after 1 July 1993 must comply with the rules that were current when the application for construction was submitted. This includes the provisions of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016, Development Act 1993, AS1926.1 and the Building Code of Australia to restrict access to the pool from the house, garage, street and any adjoining properties.

As a swimming pool owner, safety is your main concern. Reduce the risk of an accident occurring in your swimming pool by ensuring that your pool is adequately fenced and children are supervised at all times.

The Department of Planning and Local Government's website can provide additional information on swimming pool safety. Pool and Spa Safety

To obtain further information or to discuss your specific circumstances, please contact the City of Victor Harbor on 8551 0500.

Further information can be obtained from the attached brochure 'Is your swimming pool kid safe?'

Please note that Council does not provide a swimming pool safety barrier inspection service.