News that the redevelopment of the old Dun Laoghaire Baths site is to commence soon has been welcomed.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council signed a €9 million contract with the joint venture of SIAC and Mantovani Group on Tuesday.
The approved plans will see the retention of the existing baths building and include a new pedestrian walkway between the promenade at Newtownsmith and the rear of the East Pier.
Proposed new amenities include a small cafe, public toilets, an artist space, up-grading of the existing maritime gardens and a new jetty for access to the sea for kayaks, canoes and small crafts.
Speaking at the contract signing, An Cathaoirleach of dlr, Cllr Tom Murphy, said: “This investment will see a rebirth of the area between the East Pier and Newtownsmith, which has been derelict since the old baths closed in 1997.
“This is a very exciting time for the county of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown. The Dun Laoghaire Baths is a renowned landmark in Dun Laoghaire town and the development of the Baths site represents a significant long-term investment in this public facility for residents and visitors to our county.”
Local councillor Cormac Devlin told Dublin Gazette that he also welcomes the investment in Dun Laoghaire Town.
He said: “It has been a very long road, the Baths and the Rainbow Rapids closed in 1997 and in the interim several plans have come and gone.
“They proved unacceptable due to their high-rise nature and unsuitability to the site.
“This proposal is in keeping with the low-rise built environment surrounding the site and ensures that the site remains in public ownership.”
Councillor Devlin acknowledged that a lot of people would have liked to have seen the retention of a public swimming facility on the site, however he added the proposal includes provision for a jetty which will provide access into the bay.
Dun Laoghaire Fine Gael TD Sean Barrett also told Dublin Gazette: “I very much look forward to work commencing on this site.
“I have been campaigning for many years for the redevelopment of the Baths which will bring a whole new lease of life to the seafront in Dun Laoghaire.”
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said the development will start in the coming weeks.
It will take approximately 22 months to complete and will open to the public in the spring of 2020.