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Council considers proposal to turn Hamstead Marshall pub into housing

West Berkshire Council is considering a proposal to turn an empty pub into housing.

The White Hart Inn (Hamstead Marshall) Ltd has applied to convert the pub into two houses, plus creating a further two by converting its outbuildings.

The pub — which closed in October 2022 — has been on sale since last January and is “no longer viable as a public house”, claims the applicant.

The White Hart Inn, at Hamstead Marshall
The White Hart Inn, at Hamstead Marshall

The pub is included on a ‘Local List of Heritage Assets’ even though it is not a designated listed building.

But as no offer from the local community had been made to run the pub, it is no longer registered as an Asset of Community Value.

The applicant’s heritage statement confirmed the external works to the buildings would be “minor” and “sympathetic with the appearance and character.”

It added the “important historic fabric” of the pub internally would be retained.

Existing layout of The White Hart
Existing layout of The White Hart

The existing site access would be maintained, but landscaping and car parking alterations are planned.

Proposed new layout of The White Hart
Proposed new layout of The White Hart

Speaking about the planned conversion, a West Berkshire CAMRA spokesperson said: “It is no longer commercially viable.

“No one wants to take it on as a pub, freehold or lease.

“The asking price was recently removed and changed to offers.

“This is the third attempt [at conversion]; I expect it will happen this time.”

The council is expected to decide on the application by Thursday, May 30.

WBC rejected a previous application to convert the pub into four houses in 2016.

A further application submitted in 2017 was again refused by the council.

An appeal was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, which dismissed it in 2018.

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