An outdoor swimming pool built about 70 years ago could be redeveloped and flats built on the surrounding land.
Dennis Audley fears the site could be lost forever if nothing is done
Owner Dennis Audley said the grade-two listed Saltdean Lido, in East Sussex, had never made a profit and maintenance costs outweighed the income generated.
"I think we've got to change the concept of the site to make sure that it's profitable on a long term basis, rather than a short term," he said.
He is in discussion with Brighton and Hove City Council and English Heritage.
The planned flats would not prevent the public from using the pool
The pavilion building on the site is typical of the 1930s, but it is without foundations and the reinforced concrete it is made of has become porous, causing constant problems, which include cracks in the walls.
Mr Audley said it costs about £50,000 a year just to maintain the building, with the pool often bringing in less than half that amount throughout the summer.
He wants to build two-storey flats on the grass in front of the pool, and hopes the income generated will provide long term support for the deco pavilion, which houses the changing rooms and a cafe.
People living in the flats would have full access to the pool, which would also remain open to the public.