A pub will be demolished, and eight homes will be built in its place, after plans were approved by council planners.

The Gardeners Arms, on Surley Row in Emmer Green, shut its doors permanently last year and will now be bulldozed and turned into eight houses.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) planning team approved the plan last week, despite concerns from neighbours.

One nearby resident said: “Please don’t get rid of this pub –  it’s a fantastic meeting place for all the community and will be missed by many.”

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Another resident said the pub should not be demolished before first being put up for sale for continued use as a pub.

Developer Greene King, which owns thousands of pubs across the UK, said there are seven nearby alternative pubs within at least 1,500 metres:

  • The White Horse – 570m
  • The Black Horse – 590m
  • The Caversham Rose – 950m
  • The Last Crumb – 1,160m
  • The Baron Cadogan – 1,220m
  • The Clifton Arms – 1,320m
  • The Fox and Hounds – 1,420m

But nearby resident Jonathan Meek, of Calbourne Drive, said the identified alternatives have distinctly different offerings and client groups to The Gardeners Arms.

However, an independent surveyor said four of these pubs (The White Horse, The Black Horse, The Last Crumb and The Clifton Arms) are suitable alternatives and suggested there is ‘a general apathy about the potential loss of the pub’.

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Two neighbours who live on Surley Row raised concerns about the number of homes, one calling for four houses and another describing four-to-six houses as a “better fit”.

But planning officers approved the plans for eight homes, which will be made up of:

  • Two four-bed houses
  • Four three-bed houses
  • Two two-bed houses