New Local Plan – Pubs

Hook & Tackle from what was Orchard Street, now Parthia Close

Hook & Tackle from what was Orchard Street, now Parthia Close

The issues and options paper for the new local plan for Reading asks:

Is the current level of protection of pubs adequate, or should there be greater or lesser protection?

The paper was published for consultation by Reading Borough Council and the consultation was agreed at the strategic environment, planning and transport committee meeting on 24 November 2015.

The existing policy on pubs not within the Reading Central area action plan boundary is in section DM15 of the site and detailed policies document (SDPD):

Developments that would result in the loss of a leisure facility or a public house outside the Central Area will be assessed against the following criteria:

(i)  Within a defined district, major local or local centre, development involving the loss of a leisure facility or public house will not be permitted where it is the only facility of that type in the centre;

(ii)  Development involving the loss of leisure facilities or a public house not covered in (i), will not be permitted unless it can be clearly demonstrated that:

  1. There is no need for this type of facility in this area; or
  2. The function of the facility can be adequately fulfilled by an existing facility, or a facility proposed as part of the development, where that facility would be at least as accessible to the same catchment; or
  3. The impacts on amenity of residents of retaining the facility could not be dealt with through other measures, and would be so severe as to outweigh the benefits to the wider community of retaining the facility.

Parts of Katesgrove, Southampton Street north of Crown Street, London Street and parts of East Street and South Street, fall within the area defined by the Reading central area action plan (RCAAP) and so were not covered by DM15.

New pubs within the RCAAP are covered by RC8:

A range of complementary evening and night­ time uses that appeal to all sections of Reading’s society, and contribute to the 18-hour welcome, will be provided. Such uses should not give rise to adverse impacts on the amenity of nearby residents and other town centre users. Those uses that are likely to have an adverse impact on amenity or the character and/ or function of the Central area, will not be permitted.

The location of drinking establishments (including pubs, bars and nightclubs) will be limited to Reading’s Central Core.

Proposals for pubs, bars and clubs should be accessible to current and proposed night-time public transport services.

Some pubs have been protected as assets of community value. The nearest to Katesgrove is probably the Eldon Arms on Eldon Street, which was nominated by Reading and Mid-Berks CAMRA. The listing as a traditional public house acting as a community meeting place lasts until 6 November 2019 which is five years from the date of listing.

Reading Borough Council says:

Local community or voluntary groups can nominate important local land or buildings to be listed as assets of community value. Then – if they are put up for sale – they can bid and take over these properties.

Three consultation workshops are being held around Reading in February. If you would like to attend you should contact the planning team.

There are also two drop-in events in February. These are more informal and you do not need to contact the planning team in advance.

The contact number for queries about the plan is: 0118 9373337

Deadline for responses is Monday 7 March 2016.

Responses to the consultation can be made by:

Planning Policy Team,
Reading Borough Council Civic Offices,
Bridge Street
Reading RG1 2LU