Development of Dun Laoghaire seafront

Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby mollox » Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:36 pm

See attached plan. This involves the construction of a new breakwater linking the closed baths complex to the back of the East Pier - at the location of the “geographical pointer” there. The breakwater would require a sluice gate and pumping mechanism to both maintain a desired water level inside the breakwater and the ability to refresh the water periodically to maintain water quality.

The newly enclosed area would comprise an artificial beach and a relatively shallow lagoon. The enclosed nature of the construction means that the area of beach available to the public will be constant as it is not subject to tidal fluctuations. Also the depth and expanse of enclosed water will be constant. This should provide a greater degree of safety for users.

The orientation and layout of the artificial beach are important considerations: that section of sea-front backing onto Queens Road is effectively north-facing and thus the least attractive from a sun-bathing perspective. This problem also reduces the amenity value of the baths, as the existing buildings throw shadow across the pool area. Consequently, the largest section of artificial beach will back onto the new breakwater and be primarily south-facing. This will get the most exposure to direct sun, while the section backing onto the East Pier is east-facing and will get good morning sun, but no evening sun.

The proposed Plage should provide at least twice the maximum area of beach available at Sandycove, without the periodic tidal incursions. The breakwater would be constructed so as to facilitate sea swimming from the seaward side of the construction.

It should be relatively straightforward to create café, shop & toilet facilities to the rear of the East Pier (there are currently fenced off shelters there), perhaps augmented by a Liffey-style boardwalk. More sophisticated dining and leisure facilities could be provided in the old baths premises, the objective being to provide an integrated leisure complex which can accommodate all the family, and families of varying means.

The addition of a beach and a safe swimming/paddling area would significantly increase the attractiveness of the overall amenity. The use/function of the old swimming pools and premises would be reviewed in light of the expanded adjoining swimming facility.
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Dun Laoghaire Plage 2.jpg
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby PVC King » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:16 pm

This is Dun Laoghaire we are talking aboutand proposing such a scheme would equate to political suicide.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby mollox » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:58 pm

PVCK, not everyone will be as au fait with Political suicide in DLRCoCo as your goodself - you might care to elaborate. In any event, leaving politics aside, whaddya think?
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby Morlan » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:12 am

It looks great but how much are you going to charge for entry?
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby PVC King » Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:35 am

Put simply that area of the pier is the only area that has not been tinkered with and remains more or less faithful to its victorian origins. Filling in say 20 - 50 acres of sea to create a private or public-private leisure complex doesn't appeal to me and would make the reaction to the Dun Laoghaire baths proposal look like a storm in an espresso cup.

The town has the best maritime facilities on the East coast between the subline East pier and Scotsmans bay / forty foot and most certainly doesn't need a florida style gymmic project. If you want the beach go to Killiney, Sandymount or Rush.

The real blot on the landscape down there is Carlisle pier which the local harbour board mangaed to allow to rot despite the best intentions of Liebskind, SOM and Heneghen Peng. The last thing that is required is crayon plan a couple of hundred metres away.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby mollox » Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:35 am

I think the political reaction to the previous baths plan related to (a) the size/height of the proposed complex and (b) selling public assets, the baths (which were for the enjoyment of the masses, even though long closed) for the enjoyment of the wealthy few and (c) a minority who claimed to be regular and frequent users of the baths (in which case they‘d probably still be open).

I don’t think that any of the protest groups (and there were several agendas) would be too worried about the architectural heritage of that area of the East Pier which seems to concern your goodself. The fact is that this area is the scene of cider and drugs parties at night - the original Victorian shelters have been fenced off for years with wire in an effort to reduce the numbers involved in these nocturnal activities.

The Plage would be a very welcome (free) public amenity, particularly for people with young families. It would link the existing amenities of the East Pier (with its long closed public toilets) and the small but pretty Peoples Park - popular with families with small toddlers. The nearby small beach in Sandycove is very popular with such families, but it disappears entirely at high tide.
Final construction may not be entirely in crayon. The Plage might not win approval of the architectural aesthete, but it should appeal to the common man.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby Frank Taylor » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:18 am

I like your idea. You might need to extend the beach further to capture any sunlight.

But, 'Dun Laoghaire Plage' are you taking the mickey? Dun Laoghaire Beach would be fine. Irish people are used to artificial beaches in the Canaries, Paris... You'd also want to be sure there were no effluent pipes left in the area. The rear end of a pier tends to be a dirty smelly place.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby mollox » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:21 pm

Pretentious, moi? “Plage” is just there to get people to take a look. If DLRCoCo & the Harbour Company would build something like this they can call it anything they like. The Keegan-Hanahoe Memorial Swimming Hole, perhaps?
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby tommyt » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:23 pm

An intersting exercise but IIRC there are a lot of rocky outcrops in that corner - would there be major environmental/civil engineering complications?. Mollox is correct on the anti-social behaviour front -I once or twice indulged in a two litre of Linden Village around there in my errant teenage years ( a while back at this stage!). It would be nice to see just the basics sorted out around DL at the moment though e.g. the poor old duck pond in Moran's park.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby Rory W » Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:47 pm

I think it's a fine idea (so long as it was well maintained) and wouldn't cause any of the controversy of the baths redevelopment so it should get welcome support from the good burghers of Dun Laoghaire. The whole problem with the baths redevelopment was the 12 storey tower proposal.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby KerryBog2 » Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:38 pm

Strange drawing, stranger idea. The road plan does not reflect the actual situation, which has become a busy and complicated intersection since DL was pedestrianised. There used to be a pool of sorts in that corner, now fallen into neglect. Although there are some drains (I think it is wastewater run-off rather than sewage??) the main smell is from rotting seaweed. That corner is a trap for all water-borne crud when there is any wind from the east (predominant in summer) Whatever breakwater is placed there it will have to be very substantial with an external armouring of boulders, as anything lighter would not last one storm. Also, storm waves would easily sweep over the wall and then wash away the sand as positioned. The “beach” as positioned will be in the shade for most of the day.
I agree with RoryW that the height/privatisation was the main cause of objection to the baths plan – as was the same issue for the Carlisle eyesore. There is another possible cause of objection for La Plage – last year a new bus route opened from Tallaght to Dun Laoghaire; the bus disgorged ehhhh …. adolescents… at a bus stop directly outside the O’Briens’ offo where they loaded up with cans and then made their way to the seafront for a session. Daily. BTW the Moran Park “duck pond” is an old reservoir, and was used by the Royal Navy for watering. Its present condition is a disgrace.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby mollox » Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:40 pm

The beach as positioned will actually get any available sun from mid-morning to late afternoon. Winter storms would obviously be a problem, but the beach might be opened on a seasonal basis e.g. March-October? The area might be flooded for the rest of the year and could provide a relatively safe area for swimming. The regular smell is just rotting seaweed, which can be quite strong in hot weather. "Tallaght bus" problem has been commented on by a local publican, but if it exists then it needs to be managed whether there's a beach or not. The "duck pond" full of beer cans and empty plastic bottles - more local action than Tallaght visitors.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby KerryBog2 » Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:58 pm

Mollox,
This is pie-in-the-sky stuff. Why waste money on that when there are far more efficient ways of improving the Borough? The DART has increased access to the sea for many. Shankill, Killiney, Seapoint, Blackrock, Booterstown, etc. stations deposit hundreds onto the beaches every fine day. What is wrong with swimming/playing there?
If the Plage is not demolished by a storm it will be filled with seaweed, and left that way. DLRCC - notably the Parks Dept., has a dreadful record of maintaining almost everything to do with public spaces. Look for example at
The state of Dun Laoghaire, Sandycove and Blackrock Baths and Vico bathing place
The state of the access to White Rock beach– that once was a picnic area, now a briar jungle.
The state of the railings around Killiney/Dalkey hills
The state of the boundary and internal walls in those areas (dating to famine relief in 19th and 18th centuries)
The state of the paths/walks on both of the above hills
The state of Dillons and Sorrento parks
The state of Moran Reservoir
The state of the rotten old cast iron water pipe system, leaks in which sent a chunk of Killiney Hill onto the railway line a few years ago
Coastal erosion between Dalkey- Shankill

DLRCC should spend money where it is needed, not on poxy vanity projects.
.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby mollox » Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:45 pm

AngryBog, I agree with you on the record of DLRCoCo - they can’t even keep the public toilets on the East Pier open, but they can install parking meters on residential streets out in the burbs and introduce clamping.

The beach proposal has to be viewed in the context of the baths/seafront redevelopment, long promised. Many of the baths protesters wanted a swimming facility, the council sub-committee agreed that such a facility should be included in the final plan. Beach should augment whatever else they propose for the baths themselves - the council are committed to spending money on this area anyway. Reinstating the baths alone to dodge the political heat would be “a poxy vanity project“, wasting public money on a facility few people would ever use - unless it can be incorporated into a larger amenity with wider appeal.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby manifesta » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:43 pm

Je ne comprends pas l'expression 'poxy vanity project.'

C'est la mare aux canards complète de boîtes de bière et de bouteilles vides de plastique.

Quel est le problème, eh, Dun Laoghaire?
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby constat » Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:57 am

manifesta wrote:Je ne comprends pas l'expression 'poxy vanity project.'

C'est la mare aux canards complète de boîtes de bière et de bouteilles vides de plastique.

Quel est le problème, eh, Dun Laoghaire?



Deux aspects de cette plage me laisse sceptique :
1. La qualité de l’eau à proximité d’une ville de plus d’un million d’habitants
2. La température de l’eau !
I don’t know what you guys think about bathing in Irish waters, but last time I tried it, I had the impression I’d fallen off the Titanic into the icy Atlantic!
The beach’s prime purpose must be for people to avail of the lovely Irish sunny weather….
Sarcasm apart, what is the purpose of the beach?
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby mollox » Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:22 am

Manifesta: Non, le “Poxy Vanity Project” n’est pas la mare aux canards. KerryBog2 n’aime pas la plage. Pour lui, c’est la merde de canard.

Constat:
The water quality has been much improved by the pumping of sewage to the Ringsend plant. There was indeed a time when swimming in Scotsman’s Bay was described as “going through the motions”.

As for swimming in the Irish sea - visit Sandycove and the Forty Foot on any sunny day and you’ll see the demand for such amenities. The enclosed nature of the proposed beach would also mean that the temperature of the water should be higher than that of the open sea.

The purpose of the proposal is to maximise the amenity value to families, particularly those with smaller children, given that the local council is committed to develop the amenity value of the sea front in this location and do something with the now derelict public baths. An adjoining beach could provide a new lease of life for swimming baths, providing a swimming/seaside facility with a much wider appeal to all ages.

The East Pier is probably the most popular public amenity in south county Dublin, while the nearby People’s Park, though small, is a popular and safe spot for parents with toddlers. The beach would be both convenient and popular with them. The small Sandycove beach nearby is thronged during the summer months, but disappears completely at high tide. It’s a very good indicator as to potential demand for such a facility.

I’ve no problem with scepticism, I’m certainly not holding my breath that the council would develop such a facility, even if they bought into the idea.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby KerryBog2 » Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:29 am

Manifesta, Constat,

D’où sortez-vous?
D’abord, un « poxy vanity projet£ » est, en deux mots, de bâtir un château en Espagne, la rêve des égoïstes nuls. On a plusieurs chez DLRCoCo!
En plus, il faut qu’on n’oublie pas les capots et les crottins flottants !
A+
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby phil » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:12 pm

I got the impression from DLRCOCO that what ever is done with this area, there would be a certain amount of landfill in the area of your beach Mollox. This would link to Newtown Smith green and form part of the planned S2S route as far as I am aware (if it ever goes ahead).
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby mollox » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:32 pm

Who knows what DLRCoCo will ultimately propose following their about-turn on their first baths proposal.

However, the beach could be moved further out to facilitate the S2S proposal. Alternatively, the breakwater could become a more substantial causeway for pedestrians incorporating a cyclepath. The Greens are proposing some sort of marine park for the location.

The beach proposal is clearly aspirational - I just want to get reaction to the concept and the perceived amenity value for local residents and visitors - or the lack of it, as evidenced by some of the responses to date.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby KerryBog2 » Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:08 pm

mollox wrote:....., the breakwater could become a more substantial causeway for pedestrians incorporating a cyclepath.

Nice idea on paper - but are there not rules about cycling on the pier? It would have to be a substantial breakwater to withstand the gales - and we get one every six weeks on average. When a NE gale coincides with high tide, waves wash over the East Pier with regularity. So, when there is a gale and the seaweed is washed over the b-water, how is the "pool" cleaned?
The park at Newtownsmith regularly has weed on it after a gale; it was created by infill in the 1930's??
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby mollox » Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:27 pm

Cycling on pier - just a change of bye-law required. Presumably S2S will have to cross the top of the pier anyway.

Storms - beach open Mar-Oct (see post 20th Apr) so winter storms not such a problem. Pool can be drained by sluice gate at low tide and/or pumping mechanism (see original “plan” 17th Apr ). Regular clean-up operation to be carried out by DLRCoCo (stop laughing!) or whoever they appoint to manage whatever they decide to do with old baths.
On the continent a heavily used public beach facility would be cleaned daily by the local authority.
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby alonso » Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:39 pm

I'm a local and anything to push that decrepit negligent shower of donkeys on Marine Road into action is ok by me. On this particular scheme; i think it's good, and worth examining. However DLR is now a notoriously difficult place to work in. Inertia is the order of the day. Nothing has changed in years. There are backward idiots who believe reintroducing traffic onto George's street will save the traders. There's pathetic traffic management in the town, and the shoppin centre needs bombing...

but yeh keep pursuing these things and don't let comments like "poxy vanity projects" get in the way. when was the last great development ever described as anything else?
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby paul h » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:32 pm

Who doesn't love the beach? I know i do

Mollox you should know better than floating an idea that is ambitious and anyway different from the norm,
(in this, the land of begruders)
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Re: Dun Laoghaire Plage

Postby mollox » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:32 am

:) Off to Paris this morning for a couple of days. Maybe I can cadge a couple of plastic palm trees and surplus pedalos from their plage and get this project off to a flying start. From the timing of this, you can tell I'm flying Ryanair.
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