Plans to develop a €2.5 million “urban beach” and outdoor swimming pool at Dún Laoghaire harbour at the southern end of Dublin Bay, will be published today.
The venture, to be jointly funded by the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council would provide facilities similar to those once delivered by the Dún Laoghaire baths, for the same cost as the restoration of the now derelict baths.
The plans include the building of a floating swimming pool with heated, treated seawater on a converted river barge which would be located within the harbour. The barge would also carry a man-made urban beach.
A second beach would be located alongside the floating structure, adjacent to the East Pier at what is known as Berth 1. Changing , toilet facilities and a cafe are also planned.
It is anticipated that an entrance fee will be charged, which the harbour company said was likely to be equivalent to the price of a cinema ticket.
Once the facility became operational, the company said, it was envisaged that it would be self-financing. It estimates the facility has the potential to attract 140,000 visitors and to generate up to €1 million annually.
The project has been modelled on the Badeschiff facility in Berlin, a floating swimming pool on the river Spree, and is part of the Dún Laoghaire harbour masterplan published in 2011. The company hopes to have the facility operational by summer 2015.
County councillors last year approved an allocation of up to €1.5 million in council funding towards the cost of the project. However that funding was capped at 50 per cent of the total cost, so the council’s investment is now likely to be in the region of €1.25 million.
The costs involved are considerably lower than the estimated €20 million required for a plan put forward by the council in 2010 for the redevelopment of the derelict Victorian baths.
This plan was revised last year and a more modest refurbishment, to cost €2.5 million, has since been proposed.
The urban beach and pool plans were not a replacement for the baths' restoration, a spokeswoman for the council said.
"The baths redevelopment is a separate project and is subject to a foreshore licence which was applied for a year ago and will proceed independently of the urban beach project," said the spokeswoman.
The urban beach plans will be available for public consultation until September 27th. The harbour company intends to submit a planning application to the council before the end of 2013.