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Haggerston Baths: First glimpse of historic building’s two development options – neither of which involves a pool

PUBLISHED: 09:45 13 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:59 13 March 2017

An artist's impression of how the building could look if developed by London and Regional. Picture: London and Regional Properties/Hackney Council

An artist's impression of how the building could look if developed by London and Regional. Picture: London and Regional Properties/Hackney Council

London and Regional Properties/Hackney Council

A “micro-hotel” and a shopping centre are among the final plans for Haggerston Baths – and now the town hall wants to know what you think.

An artist's impression of how the building could look if developed by Castle Forge. Picture: Castle Forge Partners/Hackney Council An artist's impression of how the building could look if developed by Castle Forge. Picture: Castle Forge Partners/Hackney Council

Hackney Council broke the news in December that there would be no new pool for the site because it couldn’t nail down contractors on the matter.

There are now only two developers in the running to secure the final deal. Both plan to turn the historic baths into a commercial space.

London and Regional is proposing to turn the building into a shared workspace for businesses, a micro-hotel and a space for exhibitions and film screenings.

Castle Forge would create shops, community and exhibition spaces, commercial offices and “food areas”.

"The council 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"

Mayor Philip Glanville

Both parties will have the opportunity to hear the public’s concerns and make alterations to their proposals before a final decision is made.

The successful bidder will get a 250-year lease, paying rent to the council and stumping up for refurbishment costs. Hackney has said it cannot afford the estimated £20million renovation cost, but is keen to keep ownership of the building.

Mayor Philip Glanville said: “The aim of this project is to identify a long-term and self-sustaining future for the building.

“We encouraged bidders to devise schemes that could also preserve some public access to this unique and much loved Hackney asset.

An artist's impression of how the building could look if developed by London and Regional. Pictured, space for exhibitions and film screenings. Picture: London and Regional Properties/Hackney Council An artist's impression of how the building could look if developed by London and Regional. Pictured, space for exhibitions and film screenings. Picture: London and Regional Properties/Hackney Council

“We genuinely want to hear from residents about what they think as it will help the developers shape their final proposals before we decide what to do next.

“I know that local residents were keen to restore the swimming pool, so the council 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.”

Haggerston Baths opened in 1904 and closed in 2000. It is included in the Victorian Society’s list of the most endangered Victorian and Edwardian buildings in England and Wales, and has been costing the council £100,000 annually in upkeep.

An artist's impression of how the building could look if developed by Castle Forge. Pictured, offices/studios. Picture: Castle Forge Partners/Hackney Council An artist's impression of how the building could look if developed by Castle Forge. Pictured, offices/studios. Picture: Castle Forge Partners/Hackney Council

The council’s reticence to gamble on a less-than-watertight pool bid is perhaps understandable. It’s a decade since Clissold Leisure Centre’s refurb went four times over-budget – totalling £45million – and ended up dragging on for five years.

There will be two drop-in sessions where you can look at the plans and pick up a consultation pack: on March 28 between 6pm and 8pm, and on April 27 at the same time.

And there will be a Q&A and panel discussion on April 12 from 6.30pm, to be chaired by Mr Glanville.

All the sessions are at Centre 151 in Whiston Road – next to the baths building.

To view the consultation, visit hackney.gov.uk/haggerston-baths.

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