A FORMER pub will remain derelict as plans to renovate the building were refused by councillors.

The Battle Inn, on the corner of Oxford Road and Bedford Road next to Richer Sounds, is currently empty and not used.

Developers wanted to demolish the pub and replace it with a two-storey building including six flats and either shops, a restaurant or cafe on the ground floor.

The plans were for four one-bed flats and two two-bed flats.

But officers at Reading Borough Council said the plans would have a detrimental impact on the area, would be overdevelopment, and were a ‘bland design’.

They were also concerned about the lack of affordable housing and difficulty reaching a section 106 agreement, where the developer pays the council to fund local infrastructure.

Councillor Tony Page (Lab, Abbey), the lead member for planning, told the planning committee on Wednesday, May 29, that he used to drink in the pub.

He said: “It was the Battle Inn for many years, serving a very respectable pint. Unlike many pubs in the area, this was a genuine loss.”

Cllr John Ennis (Lab, Southcote), the lead member for housing, said: “I remember drinking in the Battle Inn. It had a very tasty reputation.

“I once went in there with a friend and we were the only two in there, as well as the two bar staff. And there was a fight, between the two bar staff.

“We have to send a message to any would-be developers: great to have you, but we need affordable housing, and therefore we have to be strong on this.”

The planning committee voted to refuse the application, which will now go to an internal review.