This post is for English speakers who wish to build a swimming pool in France. However, we have found that our plans meet the requirements of most countries.

Before the start of work, a pool building permit is compulsory.  Depending on the size of the pool and the construction area, the planning rules and regulations could be different.

Be familiar with the process

When you have a pool project, you can’t wait for the first dig. However, as swimming pool professionals, we advise you not to rush and to follow the following two pieces of advice.

Study the feasibility of your project

You can do this by visiting the planning department of the town hall of the construction area; the officers are there to share the local specific development rights, such as:

  • your project is located in a protected area, a safeguarded area or a classified site,
  • the commune you depend on has specific town planning rules: local town planning or municipal map,
  • the plot is located in a condominium

In all these situations, specific rules apply.

Knowing the criteria taken into account

A few square meters more or less you can go from little or no formalities to endless paperwork. Do you know that you can keep the control of your building site but hire a pool professional to design your pool project?

The main criteria that determine the formalities are:

  • The area of the pool
  • the presence or not of a pool enclosure
  • whether the installation is permanent, for above ground pools,
  • whether the pool is completely into the ground.

We detail below the different cases.

Explanations on various building permit

Subject to specific restrictions to be considered, your project will necessarily fit into one of the 3 following configurations:

  • No formality.
  • A “Déclaration préalable” form is required.
  • A “Permis de construire”- building permit is mandatory.

Formality not required in these cases :

  1. An above ground swimming pool (inflated or kit) is installed less than 3 months per year (or less than 15 days per year in certain protected areas).
  2. Or your swimming pool has a water surface area of less than 10m² and 1 m. high.
  3. Or an indoor swimming pool is built in an existing building or house and  the facades and the roof are not modified.

The “déclaration préalable” is necessary for :

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Plan de masse & coupe
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  1. An above-ground swimming pool (inflated or kit), from 10m² to 100m², installed more than 3 months per year (or more than 15 days per year in certain protected areas).
  2. An inground or semi-buried swimming pool between 10m² and 100m² of water, with or without enclosure.
  3. A swimming pool of less than 20m² whatever the height of the enclosure if the plot is already built on.

Please note that, depending on the building department, various documents may be requested. Beyond the usual DP1 (site plan), DP2 (swimming pool ground plan) and DP3 (swimming pool section plan), some towns will ask for a DP5, DP6, DP7 or DP8, or even other information, allowing them to visualize the project precisely from a photo montage.

Morana's advice 👇

Double-check the requirements

To avoid having to send your application back to the council, it is advisable to find out what documents you need before submitting your application. Failure to check the application requirements can lead to delays or rejections.

Don’t start work before the application is processed

The processing time for a “Déclaration préalable” is 1 month, and generally 2 months for a “Permis de construire”. Be patient before breaking the ground.

Let us help you design your pool.

The “Permis De Construire” – Building Permit

It concerns:

  • Above ground pools (inflated or kit), of more than 100m², installed more than 3 months per year (or more than 15 days per year in some protected areas).
  • Inground or semi-underground swimming pools (less than 60 cm above ground) with more than 100m² of water area, with or without enclosure.
  • The construction of a pool enclosure more than 1.80m high.
  • The construction of a pump room of more than 20m².

Please note that, sometimes, the Pool Building Permit must sometimes be submitted by an Architect.

NOTE: Failure to declare the work done on a swimming pool can lead to its demolition, heavy fines, and even a 6-month prison sentence, if a repeat offense is committed. Please keep in mind that the tax authorities receive valuable help from Google maps to find out about new constructions.

The Swimming Pool Extensions

The pool enclosure

They are more and more installed, but it is not always clear which form must be submitted.
  • The installation of a pool enclosure less than 1.80 m high on an existing pool does not require any formalities. On the other hand, if one wishes to build a swimming pool and its cover at the same time, the application of a “Déclaration préalable” for minor works is compulsory.
  • The construction of a pool enclosure higher than 1.80 m requires a building permit, unless the swimming pool is less than 20 m² and is located on a plot of land already built.

The plant room

Regulations apply to it too.
  • Its area is less than 2 m² and its height less than 1.50 m, no authorization is required.
  • The construction of a pump room from 2 to 20 m² requires a “Déclaration préalable” for minor works.
  • For a pump room of more than 20 m², a “Permis de construire’ – Building permit must be applied for.

How To Proceed

Now that you know which category your project falls into, we will tell you how to fill the declaration of pool work.

The “Déclaration préalable” must be submitted to the town planning department and the file must include a CERFA form no. 13703*06 which can be downloaded free of charge here.
As a general rule, the following are required: DP1 (site plan), DP2 (pool ground plan) and DP3 (pool section plan). Some town halls will ask for a DP5, DP6, DP7 or DP8, or even other information, allowing the project to be visualised precisely from a photo montage.
The response  time is 1 month; a lack of response from the planning services within this time limit means that there is no opposition to the project. The construction must start within 3 years with the possibility of extension for two one-year periods.
The pool building permit file must be submitted to the town hall of the construction area; if the total built surface (house + swimming pool project) exceeds 175 m2, an architect is imperative.
The time of instruction is 2 months; it can be extended to 6 months in protected sector. The decision is transmitted by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt and the work must start within 3 years.

Obligations After The Works

The same as you have filled out a declaration with regard to the work on your swimming pool, you must submit a declaration to the tax authorities within three months of the work being completed. It gives the tax authorities the opportunity to check the conformity of the project and the installation of the obligatory safety equipment: protective barrier, perimeter or immersion alarm system, security cover or enclosure.
We remind you that failure to install the safety equipment also exposes you to a fine of 45,000 €.


The heavy formalities of a building permit should encourage future owners of private swimming pools to always stay within the limits imposed by the “Déclaration préalable”.

In the same way, we have noticed that the manufacturers of swimming pool enclosure have voluntarily limited the height to 1.79m!

Of course, we provide our customers with the requested elements for their “Déclaration préalable”; if a pool building permit is necessary, our plans help the Architect in his mission.

Be careful: Some municipalities prohibit certain colors and types of lining. We detail here the different swimming pool linings.