Do I need a building permit for my swimming pool?

Building permit

Have you been dreaming of your own swimming pool in the garden for a while now? We don't blame you! With a backyard pool you can bring that holiday feeling into your home 365 days a year. But which permits do you need to be aware of? 

Buitenzwembad strak


In Wallonia, the regulations of the Code de Développement Territorial of the Walloon region stipulate that you have to apply for a permit, unless your swimming pool meets the following conditions. 

If any of these conditions are not met, you need to apply for a permit with limited effect (without the need for an architect) from your municipal council, which is usually issued within 30 days. But again, it's best to check with the municipality where you live to see exactly what is allowed.


● It is the only pool on your property

● It is for private use

● It cannot be seen from the street

● It is no larger than 75 m²

● It is located at least 3 metres from the edge of your property

● It does not require any major alteration to the soil

● It can be covered with a sliding or folding structure made of light plastic with a maximum height of 3.5 m.

Buitenzwembad strak


We've checked the most recent regulations by the Omgevingsloket (the online service counter for environmental permits), and there a permit is required for the construction of paved structures, patios, ponds and swimming pools.
However, if a number of conditions are met, there is an exemption from this permit requirement. It is always important to enquire with your local municipality about any additional conditions.
So what happens if you don't meet the locally applicable conditions for exemption? Then you are obliged to apply for a permit. Needless to say that this has to be done prior to starting the work.
When do you qualify for an exemption?
You can be exempted from obtaining a building permit for non-roofed structures such as open-air swimming pools and swimming ponds if:

➔ the swimming pool and the other non-roofed structures (ponds, patios, etc.) cover a maximum area of 80 m².

➔ The exemption may only apply to structures that:

  • do not have a building volume
  • do not extend more than 1.5 metres above ground level
  • are located 1 metre from the plot boundary
  • are located less than 30 metres away from the dwelling
  • are not located in a sensitive area

Be aware that your municipality can always impose additional conditions, so please always check with your municipality first.

Here's an example to illustrate: The Declerq family's biggest dream is to have a pool in their garden. At the moment, they have a small landscape pond of 20 m² and a 15 m² terraced area. They plan to build a swimming pool of 45 m². If we quickly add up 15 + 20 + 45, the result is 80 m². This means the Declerq family are allowed to build a swimming pool without a permit being required.


Our guarantee

Willy Naessens Swimming Pools stands for reliability. That's why we will only build a swimming pool if all legal requirements are met. Unfortunately, not every pool builder works this way, which can sometimes leave you high and dry with unwanted expenses.

Our experts always double-check the conditions with the local municipality. That way you're never faced with unpleasant surprises so you can enjoy your pool without any worries!