Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PEB4: Sustainable Design, Construction and Retrofitting


3.80 The emissions from the UK’s buildings account for 26% of the UK’s total emissions. 18% of this total is from our homes (32% in Portishead) (Centre for Sustainable Energy, 2021). This is not only bad for the planet, it is bad for the occupants; new homes need to be designed and built to use significantly less energy (which also means they would cost a lot less to run) (Net Carbon Toolkit, 2021).

3.81 The Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019 commits the UK government by law to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2050, and constitutes a legally binding commitment to end the UK’s contribution to climate change. ‘Net zero’ refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.

3.82 North Somerset Council’s Climate Emergency Strategic Action Plan sets out the Council’s aim to become a carbon neutral area by 2030 and is updated every year. Every redevelopment project or new build in Portishead provides an opportunity to make a difference and a contribution towards meeting North Somerset’s climate change targets for 2030 and beyond.

3.83 Achieving an energy efficient built environment is a key theme in North Somerset Council’s Climate Emergency Strategic Action Plan, including the aim for all new homes and commercial space to be carbon neutral or carbon neutral plus. Addressing climate change and carbon reduction (Policy CS1), and delivering sustainable design and construction (Policy CS2) are leading policies within North Somerset Council’s adopted Local Plan. Policy PEB4 is part of Portishead Town Council’s local response to the climate emergency.

3.84 Responding to the climate emergency is also a priority in North Somerset Council’s emerging Local Plan (see footnote links). Evidence underpinning emerging Local Plan Policy DP6 (Net Zero Construction) is particularly relevant to NDP policy PEB4; this evidence illustrates the need for the measures set out in policy PEB4, as well as their deliverability and viability.

3.85 The Net Zero Carbon Framework (2021) is a key reference for NDP policy PEB4. The Framework has been created to make Net Zero carbon new build and retrofit more accessible. The Framework is for use by building professionals (developers, contractors, architects and engineers) and is also relevant to self-builders, planning officers and other housing professionals. The UK Green Building Council also provides a framework definition to help guide the implementation of net zero building.

3.86 The energy use of existing buildings in Portishead represents a large proportion of our total carbon emissions. The sensitive retrofitting of these buildings is supported. The LETI Climate Emergency Retrofit Guide provides some further key guidance on how we can retrofit our homes to make them fit for the future and support our net zero targets.

P65 The-energy-hierarchy-based-upon-McLeod-et-al-2012-and-WMRA-2009


Relevant Objective

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.

Existing Local Policy Context

  • CS1 Addressing climate change and carbon reduction
  • CS2 Delivering sustainable design and construction


Development should be designed to reduce carbon emissions and energy demand in response to Climate Change, and must follow the principles of the energy hierarchy. High standards of sustainable design and construction will be supported, and it should achieve measures such as:

a. sustainable construction techniques, with measures to minimise energy use and maximise renewable energy production. Both new build and refurbishment of existing homes should seek to meet energy use targets as set out in the Net Zero Carbon Toolkit (2021);

b. opportunities to maximise green infrastructure to sequester carbon and provide other benefits such as shade;

c. good connections to existing services and facilities, and/or a mix of uses in the proposed development that minimises the need to travel by car;

d. addressing the potential for overheating, all new development should include a recognised overheating risk assessment (Home Quality Mark (HQM) or equivalent);

e. conservation of water resources through incorporation of water efficiency and water reuse measures minimising vulnerability to flooding.

f. use of sustainably sourced materials during construction (HQM or equivalent); and

g. minimising waste and maximising recycling waste generated during construction.

The retrofit of existing and heritage properties/assets is encouraged to reduce energy demand and to generate renewable energy where appropriate, providing it safeguards historic and/or positive distinctive characteristics (as identified in the Portishead Community Design Statement) and development is done with engagement and permissions of relevant organisations.

For major applications, applicants are encouraged to use appropriate sustainability assessment tools such as the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), Home Quality Mark for residential Development and/or CEEQUAL (or equivalents) for infrastructure development.


  • The Town Council should encourage and stimulate improvement of the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock