People living in and around Bracknell have welcomed the news that a pub that has been closed for over two years will be brought back into use as a home.

The New Leathern Bottle off Maidenhead Road in Jealott’s Hill has been closed since September 2020.

Recently, the government’s planning inspectorate approved a plan to convert it from a pub into a four bedroom family home.

While some people were sad to hear that the pub will be closed for good and shared fond memories of it, others were happy that it is being brought back to life when learning of the news on Facebook.

Lorna Valerie Cullen said:  “I’m so happy to hear something is happening with it. It’s been sat like that for way too long.

“A sad sight as you drive by.

“A lovely family home with lots of outdoor space would be lovely to see.”

READ MORE: Conversion of pub into home near Bracknell given go ahead

Marion Harmsworth said: “If it has to go, it’s better to make it one new home rather than a block of flats.

“My dad used to take my sister and I there when we were kids for a treat.

“We had a bottle of coke and a packet of crisps, with the little bag of salt in.

“Great days, great memories.”

Meanwhile, Jane Law said: “I remember going there with our children, they loved the play area.”

The plan to convert the pub was initially refused by Bracknell Forest Council’s planning department in March 2022.

Council planning officer Basia Polnik argued that the pub was not put on the market long enough before the owners decided to convert it.

READ MORE: Exciting plan for new bar and changes to Bracknell pub

It was marketed as a pub on March 31, 2021, being on sale for approximately six months until the application form to convert it was sent on September 24 2021.

On learning that the conversion was approved,  Marc Stevenson said: “Ok if I had known this I would have bought it as a pub and got it up and running again.”

However, the building’s owners the Wellington Pub Company successfully appealed against the refusal to the government’s planning inspectorate.

Gary Bishop welcomed the decision, theorising the council refused permission out of fears more homes will be built on the site in the future.

He said: “This is great news. Let’s be honest until half an hour ago on this thread, no one expressed an interest in it as a pub.

“The council only denied permission because they knew in a few years they could get at least six houses on that plot.

“Good luck to the family who get to live there, great location.”

Planning inspector Lewis Condé ultimately judged that it would be economically unviable to restore its use as a pub and therefore granted the appeal.

Agreeing with that assessment, John Gellard said: “The pub was obviously not viable, so rather than letting it go derelict, housing was the best option.”

However, Mr Condé noted that the pub did play a role in the community, as a venue for annual fares, karaoke, darts, senior's nights and charity events, including a beer and cider festival for Alexander Devine Childrens Hospital in 2019.

Bracknell News: Music at the beer and cider festival charity event held at the pub in 2019.Music at the beer and cider festival charity event held at the pub in 2019.

It was also used to host a Steam Rally where steam engine tractors and other motors would be displayed to raise money for charity.

Vik Strange said: “I have great memories from when they used to have an annual Steam Rally there many years back. My auntie lived across the road.”

Finally, Nadine Mitchell suggested that the pub could have been converted into something else.

She said: “It’s a shame as there were bids to do something else with the property that would have been more for the community.”

The appeal was granted by the inspectorate in December 2022.