Swimming pool approval and safety requirements

You need to apply for development approval of a swimming pool before you can install it. Once installed, new pools must be inspected and certified by City of Coffs Harbour or another accredited certifier.

All pools and spas must be registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register and City of Coffs Harbour has the authority to issue a fine for unregistered pools and spas. We also have a program for the ongoing inspection of pools.

The Swimming Pools Act defines a swimming pool as:“ ….an excavation, structure or vessel: (a)  that is capable of being filled with water to a depth greater than 300 millimetres (30cm), and (b)  that is solely or principally used, or that is designed, manufactured or adapted to be solely or principally used, for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling or any other human aquatic activity, and includes a spa pool, but does not include a spa bath, anything that is situated within a bathroom or anything declared by the regulations not to be a swimming pool for the purposes of this Act." Note, this includes demountable, inflatable and portable pools.


Compliance for swimming pools

Step 1.Obtain development approval

For new pools, approval is required prior to the installation of a swimming pool by obtaining Development Consent or if applicable, a Complying Development Certificate.

Further information can be found on the development approval section of our website and the NSW Government Planning Portal.

Step 2.Register a pool

Legislation requires that all pools (including spas) must be registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register. The legislation provides council with the authority to issue a fine where a pool is found not to be registered. It is the pool owner’s responsibility to ensure the pool is registered. Check with your certifier about registering your pool. 

Register online at the NSW Swimming Pool Register website

Step 3.Apply for a certificate of compliance

Once a pool is registered, you can contact us or another accredited private certifier to inspect your pool. If the pool is compliant they will issue you with a swimming pool compliance certificate. Further inspections will be required if the pool is not compliant.

Find more about the standards pools must comply with on Swimming pool barriers and safety requirements

A swimming pool compliance certificate is valid for 3 years provided there are no changes to the pool barrier during that time.

Apply for a Certificate of Compliance for Swimming Pool


An initial fee of $150 is payable at the time of making a request for a swimming pool compliance certificate. This fee is for the initial inspection to be carried out on the swimming pool safety barrier.

If the swimming pool safety barrier is not compliant after the initial inspection a subsequent fee of $100 applies.

Pool Inspection Program

City of Coffs Harbour inspects pools to ensure they comply with the required standards. This program applies to swimming pools (both outdoor and indoor) and spas that are situated or installed, on premises on which a residential building, a moveable dwelling or tourist and visitor accommodation is located.

Pools having a high risk such as backpackers, bed and breakfast, hotels, motels, serviced apartments and residences of more than 2 occupancies are inspected every 3 years.

If after inspection, council finds your pool compliant, a swimming pool compliance certificate can be issued.

Find more about the standards pools must comply with on Swimming pool barriers and safety requirements

Find out more about the Swimming Pool Inspection Program(PDF, 872KB)

Selling a house with a pool

When selling a property with a pool the contract of sale must include:

  1. a current swimming pool compliance certificate or occupation certificate, and
  2. a warning notice stating that the pool complies with the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act 1992

Buying a house with a pool

Prospective buyers should:

  1. get the pool inspected before purchasing, and
  2. check the pool is registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register website.

Renting or leasing a residential property with a pool

Property owners/landlords must:

  1. include a current swimming pool compliance certificate in the leasing agreement before being able to lease a property with a pool, and
  2. ensure that the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act 1992 have been complied with.