Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PTC3: Town Centre Housing


6.21 The Portishead Local Housing Needs Assessment 2021 identified a severe shortage of smaller and affordable market housing to buy or rent. Portishead is also not capable of expanding to meet housing need on greenfield sites. Policies must therefore optimise the opportunities for housing to meet local needs to be delivered on previously used land and through the appropriate re-purposing of existing sites and buildings.

6.22 As town centres move away from a largely retail led economy, new approaches to their vitality and resilience have recognised that balanced amounts of appropriately located residential accommodation can make a positive contribution to town centre attractiveness and vitality. Under-used floorspace within Portishead High Street may present an opportunity to provide small and affordable housing contributing to meeting local needs.

6.23 However, protection of the viability and operations of existing businesses is paramount. It will be vital that development of particularly residential accommodation does not conflict with existing business uses that affect viability and resident amenity.

6.24 Upper floor residential accommodation must be self-contained. Entrances and stairs should be accessed from the front of the property and must not compromise the existing ground floor uses. Servicing arrangements must not harm high street accessibility or character or existing access. This should be located at the rear of properties and not on the private forecourts that characterise the high street. Within the town centre, under-used back land plots provide potential to accommodate such infrastructure and parking.

6.25 Accommodation must provide an acceptable standard of accommodation, meeting government space standards for small dwellings. They must also meet building regulation standards for quality of light and ventilation.

Relevant Objective

O11 To support Portishead’s economy and local employment, and support the continued development of a diverse, high value and low carbon economy.

Local Policy Context

  • CS20: Supporting a successful economy


Change of use of existing town centre floorspace to residential will be supported where:

  • It is restricted to the use of upper floors
  • It would not result in the loss of an existing viable town centre use
  • It would contribute positively to the vitality and diversity of the town centre
  • It would not cause conflicts with existing neighbouring commercial or community facility town centre uses
  • Internal space meets current Government space standard guidelines.
  • There is a good quality of natural light and ventilation
  • It has a separate dedicated access
  • It provides adequate accessible space for the storage of refuse and recycling
  • Accommodation conforms with North Somerset Council Car Parking Standards.

Proposals will be expected to demonstrate how they have had regard to the North Somerset Shopfront Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (Adopted 2019).