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Swimming Pools in France

What You Need to Know:

How to install your pool without creating a splash!

There are more than 3 million private swimming pools in France, and the number continues to grow each year.

If you are thinking of installing your own pool, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure that you comply with planning requirements.

Swimming Pool

When do you need planning permission for a pool?

Pools are categorised as either in ground or above ground.

If your pool is above ground, you generally do not need permission subject to:

  • The pool being installed for no more than 3 months; i.e. it is temporary,

  • It does not exceed 10 m2 in size.

Otherwise, if your above ground pool is permanent or larger than these specifications – or an in ground pool – planning permission is necessary.

However, it is not only the pool itself which will need planning consent.

There are two types of planning permission:

  • Déclaration préalable: this is a more straight forward category of planning permission. This needs to be in place before you commence work. The Mairie has one month to object;

  • Permis de Construire : this is required when you need full planning permission

  • It should be noted that the prefecture have 3 months from the date of submission in which to object and could overturn the approval. Neighbours also have the right to object but only have 2 months to do so.

Other planning considerations

If you are constructing an arbour, a pool house or an outdoor kitchen around your pool these will need including in your planning submission.

As is the case in many situations regarding planning permission in France, the location of your property could be a factor. For example, if your property is in a heritage conservation area, the proximity to neighbours’ boundaries and perhaps other reasons.

Furthermore, be aware that when planning your project you need to think about the installation, the supply of water to your pool as well as the tax implications. A case in point concerns a resident in the Creuse, South West France. They received permission to build their swimming pool… however, they did not have consent to fill it from the local water supply! So, it is well worth looking at options such as rainwater collection systems to collect water for your pool.

A few words about tax

Once you install a pool (whether in ground or above ground) you will need to declare this to the French tax authorities (‘Fisc’).

In 2022 the Fisc began working with Google to search for undeclared pools, which has reportedly resulted in action being taken against a number of householders.

Once your pool construction is complete, you must advise your tax office within 90 days.

How to obtain planning permission for your pool

French Plans have French-registered, English speaking architects and planning advisors who can help you obtain planning permission for your pool, wherever you live in France. Please get in touch if you wish to discuss further.

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