A plan to replace a long-closed pub in Reading with flats has been withdrawn.

The Restoration pub in Oxford Road has been closed since 2015 sitting at a prominent location near Waitrose and the busy Norcot Road junction.

A plan had emerged to knock down the pub and replace it with a three-storey residential building containing 18 flats, made up of eight three-bed, three two-bed and seven one-bed homes.

The development would have provided 16 car parking spaces and 36 cycle spaces for new occupants.

Reading Chronicle: A CGI of the withdrawn plan to replace The Restoration pub in Oxford Road, West Reading with homes. Credit: Bluebird EngineeringA CGI of the withdrawn plan to replace The Restoration pub in Oxford Road, West Reading with homes. Credit: Bluebird Engineering

However, the project to replace The Restoration has been put on hold, with a planning application that was validated in February last year now being withdrawn.

There are reports that the pub building is currently occupied by squatters, according to members of the Tilehurst Community private Facebook page.

A long-term squatter can become the registered owner of a building if have occupied it continuously for 10 years according to the government.

But the owner of the building and its land is looking to submit a fresh planning application for the project at a later date, with the new submission taking into account building regulations that have come into force.

READ MORE: Oxford Road pub reopens after two police investigations 

New building regulations were introduced in October which define minimum space allowances for properties and the amount of staircases in larger buildings to provide suitable fire escapes for occupants.

A new application will comply with all of these regulations, according to the owner’s planning agent Jeff Asemi from Bluebird Engineering Ltd.

Mr Asemi said: “The new building regulations came into effect on October 1, the regulations are rightly more stringent.

“We will have to comply with these new building regulations.”

The plan was withdrawn on Thursday, November 2.

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You can view the application by typing reference 211142 into the council’s planning portal.

The Restoration sits in an active area, with a car wash to the right of the building being operated for a number of years.

In August last year, a plan by Car Wash Five Star Ltd for the site to be occupied as a car wash for 18 months was approved (plan reference 220822).

READ MORE: Car park of derelict Tilehurst pub turned into car wash site 

Then in December, the council’s planning department also determined that a noise impact assessment submitted by Car Wash Five Star Ltd was acceptable (plan reference 221603).

The terraced building next door has had a bleak recent history, with serious fires occurring there in September 2020 and April 22 of this year.

A man who occupied the building during the fire in September 2020 was seriously injured and died following complications from his injuries on October 3, 2022.

Recently, councillor Raj Singh (Conservative, Kentwood) raised the alarm over the area becoming a flytipping hotspot.