Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PEN6: Designation of Local Green Spaces


3.46 The Neighbourhood Plan proposes the designation of Local Green Spaces. The designation, introduced by the NPPF, provides special protection against development for green areas of importance to communities. The designation can be used:

  • where the green space is in reasonably proximity to the community it serves
  • where the green area is demonstrably special to a local community and holds a local significance, for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value (including as a playing field), tranquillity or richness of its wildlife.
  • where the green area is local in character and is not an extensive tract of land.

Local Green Spaces do not have to be publicly accessible, and do not need to be in public ownership.

3.47 North Somerset Council’s Sites and Policies Plan Part 2 document designates Local Green Spaces in Portishead. These designations are carried forward into the emerging Local Plan (specifically emerging policy LP14 Local Green Space). The Neighbourhood Plan identifies further spaces for designation that are particularly special to Portishead’s local community.

3.48 A full explanation of the methodology, evidence and justification to support the designation of the nominated Local Green Spaces is set out in the Portishead Local Green Space Evidence Base Report (2022).

3.49 Local policy for managing development on a Local Green Space should be consistent with policy for Green Belt. This means ‘inappropriate development of the space would not be allowed except for in very special circumstances’. (NPPF 2021, para 147). It is possible that limited development affecting a Local Green Space could be acceptable, for example new / replacement facilities relating to the functions normally associated with the space (e.g. changing rooms for recreation spaces). Development and uses unrelated to those functions, such as residential development, would not normally be acceptable and would need to meet the exception test requiring ‘very special circumstances’

3.50 Only those spaces which meet the Local Green Space criteria above are included in the draft designations in Policy PEN6. The Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has also identified a wider network of undesignated green spaces which spans the whole town and encompasses the spaces which do not fit the Local Green Space criteria and so cannot be included as Local Green Space. NDP Policy PEN7 (Other Green Space) includes more information on this network of spaces.

Relevant Objective

O9 To protect and improve health, wellbeing, leisure and recreation opportunities for residents of all ages and abilities by protecting and expanding community facilities and spaces for community activities to ensure that Portishead is a welcoming, safe and accessible place for everyone.

O10 To ensure all residents have easy access to local green, blue and open spaces, and to promote environments and transport networks that offer all individuals and communities the greatest potential to lead active and healthy lifestyles.

Local Policy Context

  • SA5 Local Green Space SA6 Undesignated Green Space


In accordance with NPPF paragraphs 101-103, planning permission will not be granted except in very special circumstances for development which adversely affects a designated Local Green Space as shown on Figure 8 and detailed in the Local Green Space Evidence Base Report, particularly regarding the characteristics underpinning its designation, such as beauty, historic importance, recreational value, tranquillity or richness of wildlife.

FIG 8: Proposed Local Green Spaces:

Figure 8 Proposed Local Green Spaces