New jetty, cafe and pier in €2.75m Dun Laoghaire baths refit
DUN Laoghaire's famous baths are finally set to undergo a long-awaited upgrade.
The public bathing facility has been approved for a €2.75m makeover into a state-of-the-art coastal facility.
Plans include the installation of an artist studio, a gallery café and public toilets.
It is also proposed that dilapidated structures to the rear of the pavilion will be demolished allowing new landscaping.
A new walkway will connect both the East Pier and the People's Park.
Swimming facilities at the spot will also be upgraded with a new jetty to enhance access to the water for swimmers.
The jetty will also provide a landing point for canoes and kayaks.
An area for changing will also be provided.
The café will boast an outdoor terrace with unrestricted views of the coastline.
The Department of the Environment has just given notice to the county council that the works have been approved in principal.
First built in 1843, the original baths were hugely popular with bathers but were closed in 1997 and have fallen into a state of disrepair since.
"At last progress is being made on this significant site which for too long has been an eyesore," local Fianna Fail councillor Mary Hanafin said.
"The public have been crying out for appropriate development of the baths and the new proposals ensure the heritage is protected and additional facilities provided.
"Future generations can swim in the baths just like their families did and it will enhance the seafront and the county of Dun Laoghaire."
Michael Merrigan an Independent councillor for Dun Laoghaire is set to table a joint motion with Fine Gael representative John Bailey for the naming of the new walkway.
Both feel it would be appropriate to commemorate Sir Roger Casement who was executed for treason in London in August of 1916.
Honouring the Sandycove native in this way would be a "an excellent contribution to the national and indeed, our county's commemoration of the centenary of the Easter Rising," Cllr Merrigan said.
Plans provided to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, who will oversee the work, will soon go to public consultation.
Peter Kerrigan of the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Ratepayers Association, a local business group, last night welcomed the news that the long dilapidated bath site was to be overhauled.
"We are delighted with the news," he said.
"As we've highlighted, it has been a centre for anti-social behaviour over the years so it will be great for the area."
The upgrade of the site has been a topical issue in the seaside town for many years. Plans to upgrade were first tabled in 2012.
The project is the second significant site to for the seafront in the south Dublin town.
Recently an "urban beach" was granted planning permission by the council that will include both heated and a sea water swimming pools.
The facility, which will be located at the East Pier, if built, will open for six months of the year. Both Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and DLR County Council will fund the €2.5m urban beach project.
However, an appeal has been lodged with the planning authorities objecting to the development.