Which building permit is needed to build a swimming pool: if independent, it is a renovation and a building permit is needed | Articles

Which building permit is needed to build a swimming pool: if independent, it is a renovation and a building permit is needed | Articles
Which building permit is needed to build a swimming pool: if independent, it is a renovation and a building permit is needed | Articles

When an in-ground swimming pool qualifies as a building renovation that can only be carried out after requesting (and obtaining) the permission to build? That is, when does one ‘override’ the configuration of pertinence by a significant amount?

The TAR Campania answers these questions with ruling 1995/2024 of 25 March, which confirmed the municipal ordinance for the demolition of abusive works consisting in the creation of a swimming pool with the consequent underground volumes, in the absence of a building permit.

Appurtenant swimming pool? That’s when

First of all, the TAR highlights that there are no reasons to deviate from the orientation already taken in the precautionary proceedings, therefore the “the construction of a swimming pool it cannot be understood from an urban-building perspective as relevance giving rise to a lasting transformation of the territory (see TAR Campania, Naples, section III 3 February 2020, n. 483) and not even a hint of proof was provided that the structure was pre-existing and that therefore a maintenance or restoration and conservative rehabilitation intervention was carried out of existing structures”.

Of no relevance – falling within the scope of the art. 6 of Presidential Decree 380/2001 which lists the interventions that constitute the so-called “free building activity” and among them, in letter e), “the furnishing elements of the appurtenant areas of the buildings”- this is the case in question.

The TAR, in fact, examines the issue whether the swimming pool built by the appellant can be considered an element of furniture “appurtenant” to the main buildingwhich could affect its inclusion in the scope of free construction.

To evaluate this aspect, the concept of relevance is recalledwith particular reference to its interpretation in the urban context.

Based on consolidated jurisprudence, it is noted that the civil interpretation of the concept of relevance is broader than that applied in the urban-building sector but it is highlighted that, for construction purposes, an artefact can be considered an appurtenance only if it is closely linked to the main building, without having an independent market value and without adding a significant urban planning burden.

Appurtenant swimming pool and Consolidated Construction Law: when is SCIA enough? The requirements

They must be classified as urban planning relevance pursuant to art. 3, paragraph 1, letter. e.6), of the Consolidated Building Act, small swimming pools, intended for the exclusive use of the main building, since, not being susceptible to independent use and/or exploitation, they do not increase the urban planning load.

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Swimming pool in the area adjacent to the house: when it cannot be relevant

The construction of a swimming pool in the area adjacent to the house, therefore, it does not always fall into the category of urban planning relevancesince it can perform an autonomous function with respect to the main building, influencing the pre-existing building structure and increasing the urban planning load.

Therefore, such interventions may require a separate building permit.

‘Our’ case: this swimming pool is a real building renovation

With specific regard to the swimming pool case, the TAR has recently clarified (TAR Campania, VI, 7 January 2022, n. 105) that “in particular, as regards the swimming pool, it does not appear unnecessary to specify that, according to shared jurisprudence:

  • a) “all the structural elements contribute to the calculation of the volume of the building, whether underground or not, and the swimming pool must also be included among them, as it cannot be classified as relevance in an urban planning sense due to the autonomous function that it is capable of performing compared to that of the building to which it is accessed” (see TAR Campania, Naples, VII, n. 3358/2018);
  • b) therefore, “the construction of a swimming pool can be configured as a building renovation project pursuant to art. 3 paragraph 1 letter. d), Presidential Decree 380 of 2001, to the extent that it implements the insertion of new elements and systems, and is therefore subject to the building permit regime, pursuant to art. 10, paragraph 1, letter. c), of the same Presidential Decree, as it involves a lasting transformation of the territory” (TAR Campania, Naples, section IV, 14/11/2011, n. 5316)”.

Ultimately, the illegal work contested in this case – far from constituting a mere urban planning relevance – certainly falls into the category of building renovationtaking yours into account autonomous functionalityas well as his own independent market value and its intrinsic nature ability to transform the territory in a lasting way.

Nor can the appellant’s allegation regarding the mere “rearrangement” of pre-existing artefacts be relevant.

A building permit was therefore needed which, having neither been requested nor obtained, ‘triggered’ the building violation and the consequent demolition order.

Swimming pool for guests: building renovation or new construction? The discriminants

If a swimming pool is large in size and has a generally lasting impact on the urban area of ​​reference, it is included among the new construction interventions that can be approved with a building permit.

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