Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PEN7: Other Green Spaces


3.51 Green spaces within and around the built environment are a key component of Portishead’s GBI network. Increasing development pressure on the town has highlighted the importance of nearby and accessible open spaces in Portishead for the local community; a sentiment that has only increased throughout the pandemic.

3.52 North Somerset policy SA6 recognises the value of open green spaces which are not designated as Local Green Spaces in making worthwhile contributions to the townscape, character, setting and visual attractiveness of a place. The policies require development proposals that affect undesignated open spaces to not have a detrimental impact on green infrastructure by adversely affecting spaces that make this worthwhile contribution. In Portishead, our undesignated open spaces have a range of functions and provide a range of ecosystem services, for example providing space for recreation and play, providing an important community value, local food production, contributing towards the townscape and distinctive character of an area, and providing space for biodiversity to thrive through rewilding projects.

3.53 The Portishead GBI Evidence Base Report (2022) includes an audit of open spaces in Portishead, which includes identification of spaces and their function and value, as well as opportunities for improvement where appropriate. The open space audit and Policy PEN7 adds local detail to North Somerset policy by identifying the open spaces in Portishead and their valued functions and contributions. The open spaces are identified on Figure 9.

3.54 Some of the undesignated green spaces in Portishead are identified as Community Open Spaces. These green spaces are where limited development is supported, so long as it is in keeping with the existing use and community value of the site. For example, a school may wish to build a sports pavilion on its playing field, or a medical centre may need to build additional healthcare facilities on its land.

3.55 Throughout the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan, Slade Road open area has been highlighted as an important open green space for the local community. In planning terms, two distinct areas make up this space. The first is the western, wooded area, which this Neighbourhood Plan proposes to designate as a Local Green Space (see policy PEN6 above), to be protected from development in line with Green Belt policy.

3.56 The second area is the eastern, more open area, which local people value for its recreation and biodiversity. The space is used informally for bmx and other activities, and there is an informal footpath that crosses the area.

3.57 This eastern area is allocated for residential development in North Somerset’s Local Plan Policy SA1. This is an allocation that is brought forward into emerging Local Plan material from North Somerset. The Neighbourhood Plan cannot be used to block development, so it is not appropriate for the Neighbourhood Plan to identify this space in PEN7. However, it is important that the recreational and biodiversity value of this space is noted.

3.58 The Other Green Spaces map and policy should be read in conjunction with draft Neighbourhood Plan Policy PEN6.

Relevant Objectives

O2 To protect and enhance the multi-functional blue-green (water and green) spaces of our town and the links between them, recognising the importance of these areas for health and wellbeing.

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

  • CS9 Green infrastructure
  • SA5 Local Green Space
  • SA6 Undesignated Green Space


Development proposals affecting green spaces, not designated as Local Green Spaces, as identified on Figure 9, will only be acceptable provided they:

  • do not have a detrimental impact on green infrastructure by adversely affecting spaces which provide an important community and/or biodiversity value, and/ or make a worthwhile contribution to amenity and/or the townscape, character, setting, visual attractiveness of the settlement, and
  • demonstrate from an assessment of open space provision, using the quantity and access standards for open space as set out by North Somerset Council, that there is a surplus in the catchment area of open space beyond that required to meet both current and forecast need, and full consideration has been given to all functions that the open space performs, or
  • demonstrate that a replacement open space (or enhancement of the remainder of the existing site) provides a net benefit to the community in terms of the quantity, quality and accessibility of the open space including by walking and cycling.
  • Any proposed development on school playing fields must be for education purposes or where the Department for Education is satisfied that the land is no longer required for school use and its loss would not result in a shortfall in recreational open space/playing pitches for the local community.

FIG 9: Other Green Spaces:

Figure 9 Other Green Spaces