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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:32 pm 
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UPDATE 08-03-14 - Scroll down for updates

Just to bring things up to date following last week Newry Reporter article about the baths. Back in 2012 a small committee was formed with the aim of hopefully getting some movement on the baths site, I was asked to come along and give my input as well as representatives of the Chamber of commerce, East coast adventure, and Newry and Mourne council.

As many such meetings had already taken place the general consensus already was that it was time something was done, however to proceed some form of idea or concept would need to be put forward of what could be done with the site before any applications for funding could be sought. After a succession of meetings the draft concept drawings you see here were put forward by the architect after discussions with those present.

I won’t bore you with the details and subsequent discussions but it was agreed that these plans were pretty close to the ideas the committee had, and would be a way of making the site a sustainable and useable area that could (if funds could be found) be returned to its original function in the future. All work that would be carried out would not damage the existing base, but simply allow it to be used in the interim.

Further meetings will now be held to ascertain how these plans can be implemented, what other improvements or additions can be made and to seek funding from whatever sources to allow the concept you see here to maybe become reality.

The general idea is that it will be a split level building with some form of retail area on the lower levels – possible uses would be seaweed baths or sauna/Jacuzzi type health spas, coffee shop and the like. The upper area would be a civic space, almost if you will an extension on the original plans to allow open air concerts or events to be held on the “upper deck” Windbreaks and shelter would be built in and I suppose it could become a “mini pier”

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We are not under any illusions, we have been here before, plans have been drawn up and ideas put forwards usually to fall due to lack of funding; however it is our belief that this particular concept could be done and as such can only hope that in the future the plans you see here will become reality.

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Please remember these are the architects CONCEPT drawings, and are not in any way a final approved plan or indeed have even been sent for planning yet and already ideas and design changes have been put forward, I felt though it would be nice to let people know that there is work going on behind the scenes and not everyone has given up hope for the old girl to be given a new lease of life :D

Also, please note that full consultation will be provided throughout the process once this stage of concept design and costing has been achieved and the concept design is based on a future proof facility, (in other words, what the public will use)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:49 am 
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I really like these concept drawings.....wouldn't it be great to see the baths updated.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:00 am 
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joanne wrote:
I really like these concept drawings.....wouldn't it be great to see the baths updated.



Indeed.!! Wouldn't it.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:11 pm 
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Looks great. Hopefully it will happen and also some way is found to prevent the paved area in front of the development being used as a car park.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:32 pm 
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Agreed Pat... Now one has to walk on the road as the footpath in front of the now Baths is always almost blocked with cars and more... Not acceptable to injured walkers , wheelchair users and prams... To all intents and purposes it is a car park... Just like Mary Street. I had to walk on the road yesterday to get past the GAA Hall. Red car parked right on the footpath. Leaving no room for a walker... Disgraceful.....


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:03 pm 
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Wow - I think it looks really good and the fact that it would be a multi-purpose area of use to the community, rather than simply being another 'planted' concrete area is great.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:37 pm 
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The drawings are exceptional,
and how great it would be to see
that area being used again as a
Tourist Attraction, rather than just
being what it is used for now.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:42 am 
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Not sure i understand the logic in the idea to change it into lets say retail and heath ie seaweed baths, sauna area.peir type attraction. UNTIL FUNDS ARE FOUND FOR THE RESTORING OF THE BATHS. Who is going to fund this project? because no business man in his right mind would fund such a project that has no long term return for such an outlay and if it was to be funded by N&M DC they are wasting rate payers money.Judging by the drawings any thing under a million pounds it would only be half done. The wish of most people is to have the baths restored to somewhere near its former glory.Surely plans of this nature only distract from the main object and founding ideas of the save the baths group. If the funds were found to develope the front show out as far as Dobbins point then this as a new long term struture would be an attraction to the area .No half ar--- measures.Restore the baths.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:52 am 
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Many attempts have been made to get someone interested in the site, and indeed all of them failed - as in today’s economic climate, like it or not baths simply do not make money. So NO business man was interested, as far as they (the council) were concerned (and believe me they still have that option on the books) the bulldozer was the only option.

The save our baths group was set up to do just that, SAVE the baths. Under that remit we have succeeded, (in that we made sure that it was not going to be bulldozed) and in fact the group had gone into hibernation.

Only 2 years ago we had questions like what do you do with a 100 year old building with a cracked wall and broken silted up sluice gates that despite many attempts are now deemed to be beyond repair? That is in need of major repairs to various walls and other structural parts, including all its electrical and plumbing?

Knock it down they said.

Despite that, money was spent to bring the building up to current standards with new plumbing and wiring with almost £30,000 spent on it. This however was also seen as a stopgap, simply a sticking plaster to keep the thing going until a solution could be found.

So, still nobody comes forward, there are some structural repairs that need doing and did I mention the council have no budget for the baths? At all?

So what do you suggest we do exactly? Heritage lottery are not interested as virtually nothing remains of the old building, to get a grant to restore the baths to its former self is virtually impossible (and we know, as we tried) so any options apart from the bulldozer seem to me anyway to be a good idea.

I mention the fact that the works will leave the option to return to what it currently is, this of course is dependent on some rich private individual with a huge pocket stepping in to do just that – and as I have already said, he (or she) is not out there (or if they are they might like to get in touch!)

The retail ideas are just that IDEAS – hence the little line at the bottom that reads:

Please note that full consultation will be provided throughout the process once this stage of concept design and costing has been achieved and the concept design is based on a future proof facility, (in other words, what the public will use)

:brickwall:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:21 am 
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Just to reiterate, the consultation means the public will be asked what they think will work IF funding can be found, if they don't want retail in there, then there won't be any but - always a but - how does the building sustain itself without some form of income? the current sitting tenant (East Coast Adventure) can't be looked upon as the only source, with the project being council led at the very least then the day to day maintenance will be covered by the rates (in theory)

So, taking it as read that some form of retail should be in there what better than a water based spa of some sort, baths after all were what the building was built for in the first place. As already mentioned this will go out to the public so ideas can be put forwards then.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:42 pm 
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Great drawings and we even have Dukestreet in drawing 3 :--)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:50 pm 
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"Sorry Sir, you can't have steak.....do you fancy pie and chips."

My feeling is the Baths will never return to it's original condition.

The alternative layout, above, seems to be a more than acceptable
alternative, if funding can be found.

The risk remains that the Council will close it down, as a loss making
enterprise, sometime in the future , if commercial income is not there
to cover the overheads.

Every avenue has been explored and exhausted, as always due to
lack of suitable investment, perhaps the latest proposal is the answer.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:27 pm 
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Love it Brian ...and well done to you in the first place.. remember that day well when we all went to the baths on it's 100th birthday year and then Save Our Baths Action Group was born. I was proud to be part of it but have to say you were the main man behind the baths project and were it has got today, you never gave up and kept at it. The Forum too has played a big role in this as with out it we would never probably got together on that day and the support shown too from forum members was brilliant.

Keep up the great work ........ :-):-) :-):-) :-):-) :-):-) :-):-) :-):-) :-):-) :-):-)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:56 pm 
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No swimming bit then?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:16 am 
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Here are some updated drawings from our last meeting, I need to stress here that these are CONCEPT drawings - nothing more, and are NOT representative of what may or may not happen at the baths as all of this is subject to funding. As mentioned before, a full public consultation will take place before anything is final and I will post any official details here.

Click to enlarge

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:55 pm 
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Looks good. Can't make out the proposed level of the lower deck - I am sure the level of the recent high tides have been assessed.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:43 pm 
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Good to see progress, however slow, is
being made.

I assume the perimeter wall will be raised,
considering the last high tide was nearly
up to the top of the guard rails!!

Final design, if anything close to the Concept
Drawings,would do very nicely.

Look forward to more progress.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:19 am 
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It will all live or die on the funding as usual. As an original member of SOBAG the fingers are crossed! As Brian has stated we have kept the bulldozers at bay for years and to be honest if funding can be found to turn the wreck that it is at the moment into a commercial entity that keeps the original building intact to some extent then that will be a victory.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:40 am 
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Brian

Many thanks for continuing to lead on this through thick and thin. Drawings look good. I think the emphasis on sea-water related retail is a good one, however is this the result of market research to determine whether it has a chance of recruiting a significant and ongoing customer base or is any planned?

Is any information available on sea level increases historically and in the future - I'm thinking that some of the bird sanctuary islands out in the Lough mouth have suffered through both erosion and rising sea levels. Also, it's difficult to see the height of the glass windbreaks on the perimeter - will they be tall enough for the occasional high winds sweeping down the lough?

Well done and keep up the good work :-):-)

Jim


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:45 am 
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I Like the concept. The idea is terrific but much to small. If the community feel the Baths should be re-constructed on the same site then I respectfully suggest the following:

(The complete building, including the footings should should be razed)
The new building should be large enough to house a Swimming Pool, Spa, shops and restaurants. It must be expanded left and right in such a way that the view for the residents looking toward the sea is not imaired. There is plenty of space to stay low horizontally and not spoil any view. Serious storms may occur in the future: this should be taken into consideration when any plan is drawn up. I hope the community gets an Ultra Modern building with a view to increased population in the area.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:25 pm 
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Reference has been made, on numerous
occasions, to the " bulldozer "as the only
alternative to repair and renovation.

We should not lose sight of the cost of
demolition and clearance of the existing
structure.

A structure that has stood for over one
hundred years, in that environment,will
not be easy to remove and the cost will
be enormous.

Such a cost would certainly rival the
investment needed to achieve the current
proposed improvements.

George's vision is one we would all embrace,
but Finance dictates it won't happen.

The Committee have done a great job to
arrive at a desirable, and achievable,
alternative option to demolition.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:23 pm 
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I've renamed this thread to include this year (2015) and this is the final consultation plan that has been put forward including the press release from the meeting the other night. A couple of things to note, one of the first things that was mentioned was the reinstatement of the original kiosks as seen in many of the old photographs so that at the very least, the original character and view of the building as you drive down the street towards it is restored. I am glad to report that particular feature (as you can see) has been added.

I've passed on the suggestions I received from people on here over the years and along with others have argued the case for a full reinstatement of a pool but realistically unless a private investor can be found that is willing to invest a considerable sum to restore and run the building at a loss (as swimming pools do not make money) then this is about the best we can hope for. Again, these are proposals nothing more and we can only hope that some day this will happen and then the tourists and people of the town will at least be able to enjoy the event space that will be created.

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Newry and Mourne District Council have over the last 12 months been consulting with a number of relevant stakeholder groups in terms of future development proposals for Warrenpoint Baths. The Council have engaged Milligan Reside Larkin Ltd architects to assist in submitting a Planning Application to Planning Service by the end of March 2015 and sought the views of both members of the public and traders on the current concept design.

The consultation was provided in various formats through Facebook, Website, and press and was viewed in the Warrenpoint Town Hall reception area, Church Street, Warrenpoint from Monday 16th until Friday 20th February 2015. A workshop was held on Thursday 19th February.

Image
Photo Ged McKinley

Pictured at the workshop are back row left to right; Mark Cumming, Brian McCalmont, Thomas McCann, Dennis Hourican, Martin Patterson. Front row left to right; Paul McAvoy, Cllr Michael Carr, Eamon Larkin, Cllr Declan McAteer.



article in the Mourne Observer following the meeting

http://www.mourneobserver.com/news/general-news/plans-for-warrenpoint-baths-unveiled.html


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:27 pm 
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Sorry I couldn't make it to the meeting Brian,but I did drop into the Town Hall and fill in a comment form.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:02 pm 
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Liking the look of the concept drawings Brian. As we are extremely unlikely to see the baths return to what they once were it would be great to see some advancement towards them being made available for use by the community in some form or another. :--)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:17 am 
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Could somebody be kind enough to tell me how many years have passed since the Baths were working

properly ? ,and why has nothing been done to remedy the situation . If there had been the will surely the

money could have been procured .


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:18 am 
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Newcastle does have a similar bath and they have managed to keep them open, they were featured on the news recently. Would it not be better to restore them rather than having it as a Promenade extension? Still need a pool of some description rather than retail units or seating areas.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:04 am 
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Been hearing, and reading, about improvement
Plans for the Baths for Decades.

Will anyone finally bring this long running Saga
to a conclusion.? ~x(


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:55 pm 
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Next step complete

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Now begins the hunt for funding..


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:18 pm 
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It looks good. I responded before about the proposed structure however, i failed to mention "PARKING". Without available parking for patrons it will be disasterous.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:34 pm 
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Had a walk round the Shore today...continuous
line of parked cars from the Jetty to Cole's corner.

Can't see Parking being a problem, but I can see
Funding being one.!


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