The future of the Sebastopol pub remains confused after Royal Borough officers rejected plans to demolish it and put nine apartments in its place.

The application to flatten the pub in Clewer Hill Road was put in by owner Terry O'Sullivan in May.

It would have made the Sebastopol the latest in a long line of pubs in the area to close in recent years.

But last Thursday Royal Borough officers refused the application.

They felt the owner had failed to provide evidence that the pub was not needed any more. But they also felt the proposed design was 'irregular and awkward' and would be out of character.

This week Richard Endacott, who is vice-chairman of West Windsor Residents Association, admitted that the decision probably only represented a 'stay of execution' for the pub.

But he warned it had to be seen as part of a bigger picture that had seen Dedworth lose five pubs in recent years and about to lose its garden centres.

He said: "It all makes it more difficult for people who can't get into the main town to have a community area they can call their own.

"The sense of belonging is rapidly diminishing."

In the past the Royal Borough has been supportive in areas where residents have opposed the closure of their local pub although it cannot help financially.

But recent closures have become commonplace across the borough.

The Sebastopol application was not even 'called in' for discussion by councillors - and was left to officers to decide on.