€3 million urban beach development gets the go ahead
Ireland's first urban beach has been given the green light by An Board Pleanala.
The €3m floating swimming area will be located alongside the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire in South Dublin.
Modelled on Germany’s Badeschiff in Berlin, the facility is a combination of a swimming pool and artificial beach, including deck chairs, changing rooms, cafes and bars.
The plan includes the pool to be heated and use seawater, and will use a converted river barge, located within the harbour, as its base.
The urban beach will include toilets, a wind-protected seating and lounge area.
Alongside the use of a recycled river barge, recycled rubber sand effect flooring and recycled timber decking will be used.
Dun Laoghaire Harbour said it will prioritise the scheme's energy supply from renewable sources.
The company, is responsible for harbour development, expects the €3 million project to attract more than 140,000 visitors annually.
According to Gerry Dunne, CEO of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company: “The granting of planning permission... is very welcome, and marks a vital step in realising the full potential of the Harbour as a marine, leisure and tourist destination of international calibre.”
The project's €3 million costs are to be divided between Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.
It is expected to open sometime in 2016.
The Irish Times has reported that there is local opposition to the project, with a number of councillors objecting to the council funding such a high-profile development.
At the last council vote on it, People Before Profit councillor Melisa Halpin said she was opposed to it because there was already an issued with getting the council to fund small things “such as a path through a field” out of its capital budget.