Councillors could get a greater role in helping to save historic buildings in Reading.

Local listing is a way to identify and celebrate historic buildings which enrich and enliven the area.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) agreed last week to review how it determines which buildings in the town are listed locally as of heritage value.

Unlike national listing, local listing does not provide any additional legal protection for the building but must be considered when planning decisions are made.

The list has recently helped the council protect a church from being demolished, Victorian houses from a ‘brutal’ development and an “inappropriate” student halls development.

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Green Party councillor Josh Williams asked the chair of the Planning Applications committee (PAC) last week whether the council would consider giving the committee the final say on which buildings are added to the list.

Currently the decision on which buildings or structures to add to the list is delegated to the head of planning and building control in consultation with planning lead CllrTony Page.

Cllr McKenna, PAC chair said a review will be undertaken of the whole listing process and a report brought back for discussion at the committee.

However, he said the current process is “efficient and effective way of protecting buildings potentially at risk without taking up scarce resources”.

There are currently eleven buildings on the list, including the closed Arthur Hill swimming pool, the frontage of which will be protected under new key worker housing plans, and the Rising Sun pub by Forbury Gardens.

Plans to demolish a “fine Edwardian house” and replace it with flats have been twice rejected by the council despite the council deciding against locally listing the building.

Cllr Page said listing the house was rejected under his watch but the decision “needs to be revisited”.