Restoration approval for Clontarf Baths


DUBLIN CITY Council has approved plans for the restoration of derelict seawater baths in Clontarf – despite objections from the local residents’ association, which fears potential “anti-social behaviour”.

Privately owned by Clontarf Baths and Assembly Rooms Ltd, the facility opened in 1884 and was popular for many decades until it closed in 1996. Since then, it has fallen into advanced decay.

Previous planning applications for the site – all approved by the city council and overturned by An Bord Pleanála on appeal – envisaged much larger schemes, with clubhouses of up to 3,400sq m (36,600sq ft).

Clontarf Residents’ Association, which was prominent in the recent campaign against the council’s plans for new sea defences along the promenade, argued that the area was primarily residential rather than a “holiday resort”.

The planners’ latest decision, which is subject to 15 conditions, envisages full restoration of Clontarf Baths and the provision of a “modest-sized single-storey pavilion” containing a cafe/bar, according to architect Albert Noonan.

In deference to local objectors, one of the conditions specifies that the cafe/bar must close at 11.30pm and that deliveries to the premises may only be made between 9am and 6pm daily “in the interests of orderly development”.

The proposal, designed by Dublin-based Noonan Moran Architecture, includes refurbishment of the perimeter swimming pool wall and the provision of changing cubicles, toilet and shower facilities and a lifeguard viewing post. It is intended that Clontarf Swimming and Waterpolo Club would operate the swimming pool.

The club was based there from 1884 to its close in 1996 and more recently at the National Aquatic Centre in Abbotstown, Co Dublin.

The proposed cafe/bar, overlooking the pool and Dublin Bay beyond it, would be open year-round and “is in a prime location to provide opportunities to relax and refresh for those walking the promenade and the wider local community”, Mr Noonan said.