An 1830s pub turned ice cream store and an arts and crafts-inspired church are two of the important buildings given local protection in Reading.

Buildings that are not listed by Historic England (Grade I, Grade II* or Grade II) can be placed on a local list by the council.

Unlike nationally listed buildings, they do not have statutory protection, but the interest of the building must be considered during the planning process.

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Reading Borough Council (RBC) last week confirmed it is reconsidering how it lists important local buildings, while the government has also announced plans to encourage councils to use local listing more often.

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 memberTony Page.

A review will be undertaken of the whole listing process and a report brought back for discussion at the committee.

But what buildings has the council already listed as of important local interest?

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Reading Borough Council (RBC) currently has 11 buildings on its list, including a derelict pub, the front of a controversially closed pool and a house with tonnes of history.

Here are they are in all their glory.

1. The 1830s pub that now serves gelato

Reading Chronicle:

A landmark former pub at Cemetery Junction dating back to the early 1830s, described as of “unusually good” composition.

The former Granby Tavern, on 120 London Road, is now ice cream shop Sprinkles Gelato and a refurbishment of the building was recently completed.

2. The “exuberant” Victorian house

Reading Chronicle:

3 Craven road, opposite Royal Berkshire Hospital, is one of two Victorian houses to be saved after a planning inspector ruled demolition would “harm the character of the area”.

The gothic building has “exuberant” polychromatic brickwork which is distinctively from the Berkshire area.

The building is associated with a number of large villas along Craven Road and the historic hospital.

3. The university halls

Reading Chronicle:

The northern, eastern and western ranges of Pearson’s Court, part of St Patrick’s Hall, were built in 1913 and designed by local architects C Smith & Son.

They are the second oldest, surviving, purpose-built halls of residence still in use at Reading University.

A plan to build an extra 654 rooms at St Patrick’s Hall was rejected by a planning inspector in May.

Pearson’s Court is considered representative of a style of ‘red brick’ buildings that were characteristic of the University of Reading in the early 20th century.

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4. The Rising Sun that will not fall

Reading Chronicle:

This disused “typical Victorian pub”, now sandwiched between two office blocks, dates back to 1877.

It was supposed to be demolished two years ago but this has not happened and it is now available for let.

Reading Chronicle:

5. The historic swimming pool surrounded by controversy

Reading Chronicle:

The closure of Arthur Hill swimming pool and the subsequent attempt to sell it off for housing has been one of the most controversial moves by the council in recent years.

RBC is now planning to turn the pool into key worker affordable housing after the sale of the pool fell through.

The listing covers the pool’s frontage which will be protected under the council’s housing plans for the site.

6. The library with the “architecture of hope”

Reading Chronicle:

Whitley Library, then called South Branch Library, opened in 1935.

Very few examples of this building’s style remain and this one is particularly distinctive because of its façade and ‘LIBRARY’ in bronze letters in a cartouche over the entrance.

It has been referred to as ‘the architecture of hope’.

The new Whitley Library, in the South Reading Community Hub on Northumberland Avenue, opened its doors to the public in 19 June.

7. The house with lots of history

Reading Chronicle:

24 and 24a Southcote Road is a house with a strong local history.

Originally known as ‘Omer House’, the building was designed and built by Mr John Omer Cooper in 1865 – he also lived there for seven years.

His son, John James Cooper, helped turned the struggling Reading Standard newspaper into the leading newspaper in Berkshire.

Thomas Skurray, another resident of the house, had an eclectic and impressive career.

He played football for Reading FC, managed a Berkshire brewery and was the chairman of Berkshire County Council.

As chairman of Berkshire County Council from 1931-1938 , he was known by the following acronym/poem:

S upreme he sits in Council Hall

K eeping a ceaseless watch o’er all

U ntiring in his chosen work

R efusing any task to shirk

R esolved his county’s rate shall be

A thing too small for eye to see

Y ea, verily, A King is he

8. The arts and crafts-inspired 19th century Church

Reading Chronicle:

Plans to demolish Grovelands Church and turn the site into flats were refused in March.

Some councillors on the committee raised concern that the building would continue to deteriorate but the planning committee decided its history was worth preserving.

The building, built by famous Reading architect William Howell, is designed in an “arts and crafts-influenced Free Renaissance style”.

The site belongs to the Gate Church, who use the Oxford Road building for church groups and other events, holding services at their Meadway site.

9. The “beautiful” one

Reading Chronicle:

The Gillette UK headquarters, at 452 Basingstoke Road, has been described by current leader of the council Jason Brock as “one of the most beautiful buildings in Reading”.

The building was locally listed in April.

The whole of the red brick front building of Gillette, including the clock tower, is covered by the listing.

An application to list the building was sent to English Heritage in 2008 but – due to significant alteration of the interior – it was rejected.

10. The distinctive one

Reading Chronicle:

114 Kendrick Road, in south Reading, is described by the council as “very distinctive” and therefore considered to be of exceptional local significance.

Wholly complete and unaffected by “inappropriate changes”, the building was added to the list in February 2013.

11. The one connected to the electric revolution

Reading Chronicle:

Part of Scottish and South Energy, the 55 Vastern Road building dates to around 1900 but is “clearly architecturally separately identifiable and distinct”.

The building has “grandeur beyond its size” and “an eclectic mix of architectural styles” and is connected to the electric revolution in the town.

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The limitations of local listing

Two buildings that were previously on the list – Oaklands Hall and Rotherfield Grange – were demolished, making way for the Wren School on Bath Road.

A planning appeal decision ruled the case for a school outweighed the impact of losing of the buildings.

Next on the list?

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”.

What building do you think deserves to be listed next?