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swimming pool council permit for small pool $800!
is this why people dont comply with regulations

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94 replies to this topic

#1 DanielleJ

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:10 PM

We were going to purchase a small pool for a family christmas present 4.3metres in diameter from toys r us and have been enquiring about pool fence which I expected would be expensive but I don't mind this so much as I see it as vital and responsible if you have a pool.  Yesturday I phoned my council to find out about necessary permits and fees to be told it was approx $800 as I need a DA, construction certificate, occupancy certificate and possibly neighbour notification.

While I want to do everything to comply with the regulations I really think this is excessive and we are now thinking about not going ahead with any pool at all and it makes me wonder if this is why so many other pool owners don't comply and kids drown, I realise this may be a sensitive issue for some and I am not sure what the answer is but there has to be a better way of addressing the issue than just charging people an arm and a leg.

#2 JRA

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:14 PM

Putting a pool fence in that can help save your children's life costs money. If you don't think your children's life is worth that, well that says a lot about you and your thoughts about your children

Edited by JRA, 04 December 2012 - 09:14 PM.

#3 scarlettsmummy

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:17 PM

JRA I think she was referring to the fees the council is charging, not the cost of putting a fence up.....maybe read the OPs post again....

#4 JapNFeral

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:17 PM

It costs the council to ensure that you comply.

Other rate payers shouldn't have to subsidise the fact you want a pool.

Sorry OP but little sympathy from me here.

#5 JRA

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:18 PM

And because people don't do the right thing councils need to manage this and make sure people do it right.

That costs money.

If you want to care for your children, you care for your children.


#6 BabeBlossom

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:18 PM

As you said, a lot is involved in the permit. We are paying around $600 for a permit for a pool fence for around our spa, my brother who is a builder drew up the plans and saved us probably another $600.
You should see it as part of the cost of the pool, not an extra expense afterwards. If you can't afford a pool fence then you can't afford a pool, simple.

#7 DanielleJ

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:18 PM

I didn't say that I didnt want to pay for a fence, or that i didnt feel that was important, I dont see how the council's approach is helping people comply as their fees are over and above the cost of the fence.

I also mentioned that we are now NOT going ahead with it !

Edited by DanielleJ, 04 December 2012 - 09:20 PM.

#8 lozoodle

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:19 PM

I have no issue with it, DA cost money. Putting in our renovation plans cost over $2k. Thats life!

A thing like a pool fence i wouldnt even hesitate to comply, but i do think those pools need to come with more information from the retailer about what is required. Perhaps a person needs to have a planning permit for it before they are allowed to purchase, that would make more sense to me.

Edited by lozoodle, 04 December 2012 - 09:20 PM.

#9 cas8cas

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:19 PM

Councils are just money hungry sad.gif

$800 is massive considering you can pick up the pools for as little as $59

#10 BetteBoop

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:20 PM

Some local councils charge stupid amounts of money for doing next to nothing.

It's also the reason why people don't seek approval for minor building works like carports or cubby houses.

OP, in some councils if the pool wall is a particular height (maybe 1.6?) then it can act as its own fence. And provided you need a ladder to enter it and the ladder can be removed, you may not need a separate fence.

Can you ask into that?

#11 BabeBlossom

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:22 PM

I think that's the point, the permit should be considered part of the cost of the fence and therefor the pool. I doubt the council is making a large profit from the permit charge, they would be aware making it as cheap as possible will encourage people to comply.

#12 mummacampbell

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:23 PM


I agree that the cost of $800 is excessive. You are trying to do the right thing.

Have no ideas why people have to be so nasty on here as the op was just having a vent about the council fees which are excessive considering she was trying to do the right thing.

#13 Holidayromp

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:27 PM

I totally get where the OP is coming from.  I do think that the council is money hungry and greedy.  I bet you that there are people out there that will go stuff that and go ahead anyway.
I get that there needs to be standards but at least at a reasonable cost so people will actually comply rather than do it on the sly.

Also if you are going to have to pay such high costs I will consider getting a decent pool.  It is a bit silly to pay $800.00 for a permit around a cheap pool.  What happens if your circumstances change later and you need a bigger or different pool or a more permanent option - you will have to fork out again.  Best go the 'whole hog' rather than having to re-do everything later.

Some places that put in in-ground pools do have repayment terms and will know the ins and outs of Council by-laws.

#14 zande

Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:04 PM

OP I get where you're coming from. When we applied for a fence around our Intex pool we paid a fee and did the drawing up etc. But it didn't cost us that much  ohmy.gif  From memory it was about $150, we didn't end up going ahead with ours as we bought a new house with a pool.

Perhaps more people would apply through the proper channels and do the right thing with the small pools if the cost & process were easier. I know a number of people with Intex pools and no-one has fences.

#15 ~~HappyMummy~~

Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:07 PM

Hi OP, I agree with you that it's excessive.  I'd get the pool, put up a fence to keep your kids safe and forget the red tape.  

Slightly off topic, I believe now you're supposed to fence in inflatable kiddy pools now....  Wth??  I'd have to get a movable fence as I move the paddling pool around whenever I fill it up.  Again, too much red tape.

** I always supervise my kids when in the kiddie pool so no comments please :-)

#16 adnama

Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:12 PM

We put a inground in over winter and i'm sure our council fee's were around the $800 mark plus $13.50 to water corp. for them to stamp our plans.

#17 tle

Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:21 PM

OP, I agree with you. We've just spent nearly $1800 on councils fees to have our pool put in plus another $1000 or so for a private certifier because no-one at our council understands their own laws.  I think it's ridiculous that it costs so much for a stamp on a piece of paper when it's the private certifier that actually does all the inspections, assesses the plans for compliance etc.

Ours is an inground pool so it would obviously cost more than just the fence approval but upwards of $3000 seems excessive to me, as does paying $800 to get a pool fence approved.

#18 FeralAlpacaWarrior

Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:37 AM

QUOTE (~ jen ~ @ 04/12/2012, 11:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi OP, I agree with you that it's excessive.  I'd get the pool, put up a fence to keep your kids safe and forget the red tape.

So how then would OP know if her fence and pool complied? What you're suggesting is a recipe for disaster and speaks volumes about your attitude to safety.

#19 Just Another Cat

Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:57 AM

I understand what you're saying OP. I know several people with portable pools and none of them have fences or council approval.

#20 katpaws

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:51 AM

If you are unhappy with the council fees write to your local councillor or the Mayor and tell them.

Unfortunately the fact that many people do not follow pool installation guidelines or safety instructions means that people have to be legislated to make sure less children drown and fees for installing a pool have gone up because government bodies have to make sure people follow the rules.

Personally, I think if high pool costs (ie council permits etc) stop some people from building a pool, then good. If people don't want to follow the steps for proper pool installation and pay the costs involved, it might reduce the number of irresponsible people who have a pool. Anything that gets the number of child deaths associated with home pools down is a great idea.

#21 Froggilicious

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:41 AM

I think the point the op is making is that the $800 fee means that irresponsible people will just purchase the $59 pool fill it and not bother with obtaining a permit, this putting more children at risk. One hopes the fee is as low as possible to encourage responsible pool ownership.

On a separate issue I'm not sure the there is enough advertising of the need for fences etc for these types of pools at the place of purchase. They are too easy to buy and set up without considering things like fences.

#22 Crinkle cut

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:41 AM

I agree with you op.  They are charging the same for an inflatable intex as a big inground pool where earthworks, plumbing lines, other utilies, ect factor in.  They are doing a hell of a lot less work for the same price.  A fairer system IMO would be to itemise the bill and only charge for the work actually done - in this case they need only inspect and approve the pool fence so only charge for that.

Why are people attacking the op for not caring about her kid's safety?  She said she's not going ahead due to the fees, sounds like she is doing the right thing to me.

#23 casime

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:56 AM

Unfortunately the fact that many people do not follow pool installation guidelines or safety instructions means that people have to be legislated to make sure less children drown and fees for installing a pool have gone up because government bodies have to make sure people follow the rules.

The problem is, that by making fees so high, the only people being punished are the ones that are doing the right thing.  The people that are determined to get the pool will do it anyway, and the people like the OP who want to do the right thing won't get the pool because of it.  They are just trying to make a profit. You caan't tell me that it costs the council that much to look at a set of plans for a fence to put around a portable pool.   If they really cared about keeping children safe then they woud keep the fees low and increase the fines for non compliance.

#24 MrsLexiK

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:58 AM

QUOTE (cas8cas @ 04/12/2012, 10:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Councils are just money hungry sad.gif

$800 is massive considering you can pick up the pools for as little as $59

I agree, and if you are paying $59 for a pool chances are you may not be able to afford $800. I don't have an issue with the council costs when putting in an inground pool, we are talking about something much cheaper then an inground pool.

#25 katpaws

Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:00 AM

One hopes the fee is as low as possible to encourage responsible pool ownership.

I would counter that under low fees for pool installations or no fees the number of child drowning deaths are already high enough. I don't believe "low fees" will reduce the number of child drownings or increase the number of "responsible" pool owners. The number of children dying in home pools is appalling. We know today that there are legislative and safety guidelines for pool installations and yet some people have to be forced into doing this or some people do their best to get around these rules/guidelines. Children still drown. I am sure some people who buy cheap sh*t pools and laugh at child safety regulations are not really going to be concerned about "following the rules" so the high fees of installation will never enter their minds as they think they are above following rules and don't see why they should comply with them; i doubt that these people would even consider paying these costs, even if they were less.

Hopefully if people see pools that do not follow the guidelines and laws will speak up and get their local council (or relevant) organisation to investigate and fine these people before someone gets hurt in their pool. However, all this costs money. Who pays? Council fees and permits drive me nuts (we have had a recent renovation) but if it relates to child safety, why do people have a set "limit" on what they will pay to ensure not only are their children safe, but other people's children are safe?

If people actually followed the law etc with pool installations there would be more chance of having lower costs associated with putting in a pool. If anything, the OP should be complaining about those who do not comply etc for being the reason for the high installation costs for a pool.

Edited by katpaws, 05 December 2012 - 06:15 AM.

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