Tuesday 13 May 2008

Council urged to shelve plans for derelict baths site

DÚN LAOGHAIRE-Rathdown County Council has been urged to shelve its two proposals for the redevelopment of the derelict public baths site. The call was made at a public meeting attended by 150 people in Dún Laoghaire last night. The meeting also agreed to hold a demonstration next month to highlight the concerns of local people.

In February, consultants presented councillors with two designs for the site along the East Pier to Sandycove.

"Concept A" would cost €129 million and involves a lagoon beach and a pedestrian bridge adjacent to the East Pier. An aquatic play area is intended for the old public baths site, alongside a civic space. It includes an underground car park with up to 500 spaces.

"Concept B" would cost €92 million and involves a new promenade and sandy beach from the East Pier to the Newtownsmith section. It also includes a new water sports centre in Sandycove Park.

Last night's meeting was organised by the Save our Seafront group, which had objected to plans for a high-rise apartment block on the site of the baths.

The meeting heard claims that the council's proposals were excessive, impractical, too expensive and likely to damage the seafront.

The council was urged to shelve those plans and restore the baths as a public swimming pool. Richard Boyd Barrett, who organised the meeting, said the council's plans were over the top.

He said restoring the public swimming pool would cost a fraction of the cost estimated for the two options presented by the council. "Instead of listening to what the public wanted and getting down to delivering on it, they have wasted nearly €200,000 paying consultants to come up with an excessive and vastly expensive plan," he said.

Irish Times


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