A much-loved pub in Bracknell has appealed against a refusal of planning permission to change the premises into a residential home. 

Owners of The New Leathern Bottle in Warfield, Caldecotte Group, applied to convert the pub into a single four-bedroom home in September of 2021, having ceased trading the previous year. 

Bracknell Forest Council rejected the plan in March of this year, determining that “insufficient evidence” had been provided to justify “the loss of a community facility”. 

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An appeal was subsequently lodged against the decision on June 16, which was deemed valid by the council on Monday (August 1). 

In the original proposals, Caldecotte Group outlined plans to remove the bar to create an open plan living room, change the men’s toilet into a home toilet, convert the women’s toilet into a utility room, and make the kitchen fit for home use. 

The pub currently has two bedrooms, therefore, two of the rooms on the first floor would be converted into new bedrooms. 

Two objections were listed against the initial application, with Roman Wood resident Anthony Springall calling the site a “valuable local asset” and praised the pubs “track record” for raising money for local charities. 

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The building, located on Jealott’s Hill, is Grade II listed which, according to Historic England, dates back to the 17th Century and is the only pub in the vicinity.   

A controversial plan to build a 2,000-home ‘garden village’ near the premises forms a key part of the Bracknell Forest Local Plan.  

The plan, which would set the agenda for development in the area until 2037, was submitted to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for independent examination on 20 December 2021 and a further update is expected in due course. 

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“If local plans are realised for increased housing in the locality, it will be more than viable as licensed premises,” Mr Springall added. 

Pub Protection Officer for the CAMRA Berkshire Southeast branch, Olivia Jones, said to convert the premises into a home would be “wrong” and claimed many members want the pub to remain. 

The council will now appoint an inspector to determine the appeal.