A dilapidated but much-loved former country pub is coming closer to being converted into a family home, as part of its renovation has been approved.

Owners of the New Leathern Bottle on Maidenhead Road have been given approval to replace windows and doors and renovate the inside of the listed building, which they already have permission to turn into a house.

But work to the roof and plans to install solar panels in the back garden are still under consideration at Bracknell Forest Council.

It comes after pub owners overcame a wrangle with the council to be allowed to convert the building at all.

READ MORE: Plans to refurbish the New Leathern Bottle as four-bed home

The New Leathern Bottle has been closed since September 2020. Owners The Wellington Pub Company first applied for permission to change the use of the building from a public house to a four bedroom dwelling in 2021.

Bracknell Forest Council’s planning department at first refused permission, arguing that it would mean the loss of a community facility. But the government’s planning inspectorate overruled the council, agreeing that it was no longer viable to keep the building running as a pub.

The inspector Lewis Condé ruled: “The site is in a location with a small local population and no significant local attractions to draw potential customers.

“There is no robust evidence before me to demonstrate that the use of the building as a public house, or other community facility remains viable.”

With that obstacle out of the way, separate applications for planning permission have been submitted for each element of the refurbishment. This is required as the building is grade two listed.

Bracknell Forest Council planning officers approved plans to replace all but one of the outside doors, and all but one of the windows.

Kruszelnicki Leetch Architects said that eight of the windows are of potential historic value, but that seven of these are in a poor state of repair. These seven are to be replaced by new ones with a traditional design and single glazing.

Bracknell Forest Council officers agreed with architects' plans, and approved them on the condition that work be carried out using traditional materials and techniques.

Meanwhile, timber floors and original tiles are to be kept and cleaned, and electrical and mechanical works to follow the routes of existing wiring.

The owners also want to relay the roof tiles and install 15 solar panels in the large back garden, in two separate planning applications that are yet to be decided on.

Plans submitted to the council by Kruszelnicki Leetch Architects say they ‘propose to retain as much of the existing features and finishes as possible.’