Shortlist of schemes to redevelop historic Haggerston Baths announced
Three developers will display their proposals in the new year, and residents will be able to provide feedback on the schemes through a public consultation. A final decision is likely to be made in spring 2017.
The Council's call for expressions of interest in 2015 attracted 29 submissions. The bidders would have to cover the multi-million pound cost of bringing the building back into use. Following a public meeting, which yielded input from local residents, ten bidders were invited to make formal proposals. Of these, three have been shortlisted:
London and Regional Properties
- 35,000 square feet of employment space for creative and technology businesses
- multi-function space incorporating art gallery, screening room and function room
- private members club.
- 30,000 square feet of commercial space
- studios / workshops
- affordable workspace
- four retail units
- art gallery / exhibition space
- community rooms.
- workspace for creative industries
- arts venue
- design hub
- office space
- live work space.
The chosen developer will have to carry out further surveys so that they can determine the full extent of engineering and restoration required, and inform their detailed design, and planning submission. Historic England and the Council’s Conservation Officers will have to give consent to any proposals and will seek to ensure that the historic fabric of the building, and particularly the pool hall, is maintained.
Of the ten long listed proposals, there was only one feasible bid that included retaining the swimming pool. The Council was keen to pursue this opportunity and spent the best part of 2016 in negotiations with the developer. However, the gulf between the reassurances that the Council required over whether the development as proposed would be implemented and those that the developer was prepared to offer was too great.
The aim of this project was to identify a long-term and self-sustaining future for the building. Although we recognised the scale of the likely investment required to achieve this, we encouraged bidders to devise schemes that could also preserve some public access to this unique and much loved Hackney asset.
I know that local residents were keen to restore the swimming pool, so the council has 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.
We will arrange a public consultation on the shortlisted proposals in the new year and would be grateful for the feedback of local residents.
This is the start of a long process, and we will work with the winning developer to make sure the final proposals bring this much loved building back into use.
The pool complex, which opened in 1904 and closed in 2000, is included in the Victorian Society’s list of the most endangered Victorian and Edwardian buildings in England and Wales. It costs the Council about £100,000 every year to cover maintenance and security.