Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PEB2: Small and Infill Development


3.67 Adopted North Somerset policy SA2 identifies Portishead’s settlement boundary, within which residential development is acceptable in principle (subject to the other detailed policies of the Local Plan). The built area of Portishead has a tightly drawn settlement boundary, outside of which is either the Severn Estuary or current Green Belt land – see Figure 11.

3.68 During the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan and its associated Community Character Statement, the community highlighted concerns over levels of development pressure on land within the Settlement Boundary and the impact of this being instances of residential development ‘squeezed into’ inappropriate locations which do not reflect the character of nearby existing development, for example, there has been strong and successful resistance to any change to the status quo on the large section of open grassland at Portishead Golf Course.

3.69 Local Plan policies SA2 (Settlement Boundaries) and DM37 (Residential development within existing residential areas) set criteria for acceptable residential development within existing residential areas. NDP Policy PEB2 below sets out Portishead-specific criteria for how this should be delivered within the Neighbourhood Area. It also broadens the scope of this topic to include criteria for infill development to provide other land uses such as employment opportunities or new facilities.

3.70 Infill development is defined as the filling of a relatively small gap between existing buildings.

3.71 A priority objective of the Core Strategy is to maximise brownfield opportunities in Portishead. Brownfield land is defined as land that has been ‘previously developed’; this definition excludes agricultural or forestry buildings and gardens.

3.72 Local planning authorities, including North Somerset Council, are required to publish a brownfield land register for their area which sets out previously developed land that a local planning authority considers suitable for residential development. Whether a brownfield is considered ‘suitable’ will be decided by North Somerset Planning officers taking into account considerations such as biodiversity, highways and identified local needs.

3.73 During the preparation of the Plan, local people highlighted the key concern that infrastructure in Portishead must be improved in order to support any new residential development. Any proposals for infill residential development in Portishead should ensure that they do not negatively impact on local infrastructure provision, particularly health and education services.

Relevant Objectives

O7 To deliver sustainable development which prioritises brownfield land, responds positively to the climate crisis, reduces our carbon footprint and energy demand, and mitigates the local impacts of climate change.

O5 To ensure that development protects and reinforces Portishead’s character and distinctiveness, and encourages the highest standards of building, public space and landscape design and sustainability.

Local Policy Context

  • SA2 Settlement boundaries
  • CS14 Distribution of new housing
  • CS31 Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead
  • DM37 Residential development in existing residential areas Residential Design Guide SPD


Proposals for new or improved local employment opportunities, small housing developments for up to and including 9 units, and / or new services and facilities that contribute to the continued and sustainable growth of Portishead will be supported in principle provided that development is located within the Settlement Boundary and accords with the limits of development provisions set out in the North Somerset Local Plan (policies SA2 and DM37).

Small and infill development within the Settlement Boundary that ensures the regeneration of previously developed land, or conversion and/or refurbishment of existing premises will be supported in principle, subject to compliance with other policies in the development plan.

Any small and infill development should:

  • Not adversely affect the character of the area, paying particular attention to the rhythms of existing plot sizes and the volumes of houses, as identified in the Portishead Community Character Statement; and
  • Deliver an improvement in biodiversity within and, where appropriate, beyond the site, with particular reference to policy PEN4 in this Neighbourhood Plan, where an improvement of over 10% in net gain in biodiversity will be particularly supported.

FIG 11: Portishead Adopted Settlement Boundary:

Figure 11 Portishead Adopted Settlement Boundary