Over the past few months we have had plenty of opportunity to consider the strengths and weaknesses of our homes. Perhaps one of the prime considerations as the weather heats up is how to keep cool. If you’re thinking of a swimming pool as the answer, we have some advice about how to build your own swimming pool in Spain.
Reasons to build your own swimming pool in Spain
The lockdown has left many of us contemplating how we might improve our property. For those with only a balcony to stretch their legs on, the prospect of a house with a garden is luxury. Similarly, as we now start to feel the heat at night, the idea of plunging into a refreshing swimming pool when the fancy takes us is very tempting.
It’s likely that the sale of portable swimming pools and plunge pools has rocketed in recent days. But these temporary arrangements can present dangers of their own. Concerns have already been raised about the risks involved when placing inflatable pools on terraces and balconies where they may be unstable.
The Madrid Surveyors College has urged people to consider carefully the positioning of temporary pools and structures such as jacuzzis in positions that could potentially be dangerous. This is particularly the case for those living in flats above ground level who perhaps are considering installing pools on foundations that are insufficiently robust.
On occasions people may forget to account for not only the weight of the pool itself but the weight of the water and those using it. There is a particular risk with older buildings and those that may already have suffered some damage. For this reason it’s important that the installation of the pool is discussed with a professional.
However, what about if your property is on ground level and you do have some spare space to build a swimming pool?
Planning your swimming pool in Spain
1. Planning permission
First and foremost you should be aware that it is necessary to have a licence for a swimming pool in Spain, however small. You need planning permission to build one and if you don’t have this it can present problems when you wish to sell or bequeath your property.
Although retrospective planning permission can often be granted, there is no certainty of this. The exact requirements from one town to another differ and so you should obtain local and professional advice on what applies in your area.
2. Permission of the community of owners
You will also need to apply to the community of owners for permission. In most cases, your application will need to be supported and voted on at the next AGM (Annual General Meeting) or EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting).
As building a swimming pool is considered to be an ‘Obra Mayor’ you will need an architect. The architect must prepare a drawing which illustrates your proposal and this will need to be presented to the town hall along with a fee. However, this is a small cost to bear in comparison to receiving a fine or even a demolition order.
4. Registering your swimming pool in Spain
Once permission is received and your pool has been built then you will need to register it on the property register and ‘catastro’. Again, professionals can help ensure that this is properly carried out and that your pool is legal.
The positioning of your pool is important.
- You will need to consider factors such as the proximity to neighbours’ borders and the street.
- The type of land your property is built on must be considered too. For example, if it is on rural land it is highly unlikely that a pool will be allowed.
Once you have your pool in place then here are some hints for keeping it in pristine condition:
- Try and avoid people plastering on the sun tan lotion and then jumping in the pool – ask people to shower before they take a dip.
- Watch out for small objects getting caught in the mechanical parts of the pool. It is advisable to ban anything other than large inflatables.
- Keep glass and bottles well away from the pool. Broken glass is a dangerous hazard and if it’s in the pool it is very hard to spot. Your pool would probably need to be drained as a result.
- Regularly check the PH levels and administer the appropriate chemicals to keep the water clean and bacteria free.
So whether you are considering installing a splash pool or an olympic-sized swimming pool in Spain, we strongly recommend that you take the professional advice of an independent Spanish lawyer. They can apply for permission on your behalf when necessary and ensure that the correct procedures are taken. After all, you want to make sure that your latest little luxury is here to stay.