herald

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Swimmers thrill at plan to revive Clontarf Baths

THE derelict Clontarf Baths could finally get a revamp after new plans were lodged that included a cafe bar.

The north Dublin site has been subject to several applications in recent years but has remained undeveloped.

Now, the new bid aims to restore the baths to their former glory -- they were closed in 1996.

The application -- from the Clontarf Baths and Assembly Rooms Company Ltd -- seeks permission to reinstate the "existing seawater swimming pool area".

It includes plans for changing facilities and a lifeguard viewing room. The existing derelict structures would be demolished and replaced by a pavilion restaurant and cafe bar.

A covered terrace area overlooking the bay would also be built. Some 15 car and 47 bicycle parking spaces will be installed.







Fantastic

Former Lord Mayor and Clontarf resident Gerry Breen said he would be supportive if it meant the site got back to his original use as a swimming area.

"It's an eyesore along the seafront," Mr Breen (Fine Gael) told the Herald.

Irish Water Polo Association president Bobby Nolan (40), a Clontarf man, said the plans were "absolutely fantastic".

"We are 100pc supporting it and Clontarf swimming club will be back to our original home after a break of 15 years," Mr Nolan added. The club had been on the site since 1884.

In 2008, An Bord Pleanala turned down a €10m plan involving a former Olympic swimmer to turn the baths site into a luxury spa.

The application, put forward by ex-Olympian Stephen Cullen, had sought to build a luxury day spa with treatment rooms and a 15-metre swimming pool.

The building, by Italian architect Francesco Beia, was designed to give the impression it was floating on water.

Beia was responsible for the design of the Seafield Golf and Spa Hotel in Gorey, Co Wexford. Dublin City Council granted permission for the project but that decision was appealed and then overturned.

comurphy@herald.ie

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