Tuesday 15 October 2019

Historic baths site to be redeveloped

Dun Laoghaire baths were built in 1843 and were a favourite for sea swimmers.
Dun Laoghaire baths were built in 1843 and were a favourite for sea swimmers.
The baths area has been derelict since 1997.
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

SWIMMING baths dating back 170 years are to be filled in and replaced with a jetty and small 'urban beach'.

Councillors in Dun Laoghaire have shelved ambitious plans to refurbish the baths at a cost of almost €100m, instead voting to allow a €2.5m redevelopment take place.

The Royal Victorian Baths were built beside Scotsman's Bay in 1843.

Customers could avail of a range of bathing options including sea and fresh water, and hot or cold baths, while children had their own pools.

Although the baths were recently painted, they have been derelict since 1997.

Now considered a dangerous eyesore, previous plans included constructing a lagoon beach, pedestrian bridge and aquatic play area and water-sports centre at a cost of up to €100m.

But Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council yesterday said that revised plans had been approved by councillors.

They include:

• Demolishing all but two of the buildings on site. The Baths Pavilion and a smaller outbuilding will be retained and refurbished to accommodate artists' studio space, an art gallery, cafe and public toilets.

• The area between the baths site and the East Pier, including the old bandstand, will be refurbished.

• A new jetty and an area for changing will be created to provide enhanced access to the water for swimmers. This may include a small 'urban' beach in the future.

• A public walkway/cycleway will be built through the site, connecting the coastal walkway at Newtownsmith to the East Pier.

The new plans may form part of a bigger €230m project, which includes a diaspora museum on Carlisle Pier, retail units and 300 apartments.

Irish Independent

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