A vacant restaurant and bar on an island in Reading could be turned into a three-bed flat, to avoid historic noise issues.

Plans have been submitted to turn the Island Bar, on Piper’s Island near Caversham, into a three-bed apartment on the first floor.

The first floor of the building would become a three-bed flat, with the ground floor, currently a seating area and kitchen, would becoming a storage area.

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Piper’s Island is the third-smallest island in the River Thames with a map name.

The restaurant/bar building, which takes up virtually the whole island, has been vacant for some time, according to developer Mr Lewin.

Noise and fire concerns

The bar and restaurant temporarily lost its licence in 2016 over noise concerns, while it was also served a noise abatement notice in 2015, which limits activity at the site.

In 2017, licensing officers said the premises undermined the licensing objectives of prevention of crime and disorder; prevention of public nuisance and public safety whilst causing severe noise disturbance to nearby residential dwellings over many years.

A closer up look at the vacant restaurant and bar

A closer up look at the vacant restaurant and bar

Mr Lewin said this is one reason why the building no longer in use.

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Additionally, the premises were served an enforcement notice by Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service in March 2017 due to concerns over the safety of the site and the lack of knowledge of staff in relation to fire matters.

This means the first floor cannot be used as restaurant/bar, according to licensing officers, and Mr Lewin said this “has almost certainly contributed to the closure of the business”.

A previous plan in 2017 to turn the top floor into a three-bed flat, keeping a restaurant/bar on the ground floor, which also included a new access bridge and external alterations to existing building, were withdrawn before any decision was made.

Mr Lewin has not included a new access bridge in his plan and no longer plans to keep a restaurant/bar.