Haggerston Baths: Council wants your opinion on “pool- free” shortlisted choices

Photo: geograph.org.uk via Creative Commons License

Two developers have been shortlisted to redevelop the Haggerston Baths building – both without a pool. Hackney Council have asked to hear the views of local residents on which “best protects the building’s heritage and meets local needs.”

The grade II listed building, which sits on the edge of Regent’s Canal and has been closed since 2000, was originally opened as a public baths in 1904 but has since fallen into disrepair.

The plans proposed by London and Regional Properties company and Castle Forge respectively include redeveloping the historic building to include workspaces, exhibition spaces, and a ‘micro’ hotel, with plans to “revitalise the Pool Hall as a new social event space”.

The plans will be discussed in a forum at Centre 151, 151 Whiston Road on Wednesday 12 April, 6.30pm – 8pm. Both developers will present their schemes chaired by  Phillip Glanville, the Mayor of Hackney.

There will also be drop-in session at Centre 151 on Tuesday 28 March at 6pm – 8pm and Thursday 27 April, 6pm – 8pm.

Despite a lengthy campaign by Save Haggerston Pool, neither of the plans submitted will include a pool after negotiations between the developers and the council broke down in December.

On its website, the group expressed disappointment at the plans in December, stating: “We are bitterly disappointed that this is the case, and we know that this will be deeply unpopular with residents and supporters.”

The group described the result as a “16-year history of failure on the part of the Council to prioritise the reopening of the pool, and to work with the community to do so”.

In a statement the council said: “The Council knows that local residents were keen to restore the swimming pool, so we spent the best part of a year negotiating with a developer whose proposals included a pool. Unfortunately we could not get the reassurances we needed that the scheme proposed would actually be delivered.”

Consultations with residents are currently underway, with the council holding a Q&A hosted by the Mayor of Hackney next month before a final decision on the future of the building is made.