ONE of the oldest pubs in Reading that has been closed for more than a year could be given a new lease of life as renovation plans have been approved.

The Sun Inn pub in Castle Street in the town centre dates back to the 17th century according to Historic England, which keeps a record of listed buildings.

According to the Historic England website, the pub contains cellars which are reported to be the remains of Reading Old Gaol, where miscreants were locked up for crimes in the early modern period.

The Sun pub closed down in May 2022.

But now it can reopen under new ownership as a plan to add an extension and make changes to the garden has been granted.

READ MORE: One of the oldest pubs in Reading could have hotel added to it

The extension will create a new trade kitchen with extraction fans being installed on the roof.

The project will also involve getting rid of the car park and replacing it with a timber pergola and outdoor seating booths.

Approved plans show six tables located under the pergola and six garden booths, with 14 uncovered tables for guests to use when the weather is nice.

Reading Chronicle: The garden and pergola plan that would replace the existing car park at The Sun Inn in Castle Street, Reading town centre. Credit: Design IDThe garden and pergola plan that would replace the existing car park at The Sun Inn in Castle Street, Reading town centre. Credit: Design ID

Walsingham Planning, the agents for the applicants, argued that there are a number of on-street car parking spaces and multi-storey car parks in the town centre.

A planning consultant said: “The external proposals would bring the previous car park into more effective use and would result in a positive change to an area that is presently neglected.”

The on-street parking is available for a maximum stay of two hours.

The changes for the pub were approved by Reading Borough Council’s planning department in a letter sent on Friday, October 20.

The Sun will be taken over by The Brasserie Bar Company, which is part of the Heartwood Collection of restaurants founded by renowned chef and hotelier Raymond Blanc.

The pub in Castle Street was sold to The Brasserie Bar Company ‘subject to planning’ in the summer, meaning that the full sale of the pub is set to progress now the plan has been approved.

You can view the approved application for The Sun by typing reference 230709 into the council’s planning portal.

It is understood The Sun Inn will be made into a Brasserie Blanc restaurant, which is known for its ‘farm & grill’ food, steak nights and collection of fine wines, beers, cocktails and spirits.

There are currently 14 Brasserie Blanc restaurants in England, with locations in Beaconsfield, Oxford and London, among other towns and cities.