Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PWH2: Retaining Existing Valued Smaller and Accessible Housing Stock


4.27 Smaller homes provide the opportunity for our younger people to build their long term future in Portishead and enable local down-sizers to continue to secure homes in their community that meet changing needs.

4.28 The Portishead Housing Needs Assessment (2021), produced to support the Neighbourhood Plan, identifies an existing shortfall and a growing demand for smaller single, double and triple bedroom homes in Portishead within the open market and affordable housing sectors.

4.29 There is an existing shortage of accessible homes that enable older and disabled local people to live more active lives at home for the optimum period. The 2011 census found that 18.5% of the North Somerset population had a limiting long-term illness (LLTI) and that 33% of households in the district contained one or more persons with a LLTI. There is forecast to be a 54% increase in Portishead’s community of people over the age of 65 during the lifetime of the Neighbourhood Plan.

4.30 Existing bungalows provide Portishead with a distinct opportunity for accessible housing, where larger and two storey houses do not. It is important that Portishead retains this choice of smaller and single storey housing.

4.31 Bungalows and areas of smaller houses make a distinct contribution to Portishead’s townscape, as identified in the Portishead Community Character Statement (2021). Older neighbourhoods including Albert Road and Victoria Square are unable to appropriately accommodate intensified residential use.

4.32 The cumulative effect of adding floorspace and storeys randomly to smaller houses may cause harm to the distinct character of neighbourhoods identified in the Portishead Community Character Statement (2021), where single storey homes create a distinct and positive contribution to the town. Enlargement of smaller homes within our neighbourhoods including at North Weston and St Mary’s Road has eroded its character and denuded the existing stock of accessible homes.

4.33 National permitted development rights set parameters that enable extensions and additions to houses that can add bedrooms and intensify use without the need for planning consent and outside of the power of the Neighbourhood Plan.

4.34 North Somerset Development Management Policy DM37 (Residential development in existing residential areas) and DM38 (Residential extensions) set criteria to assess acceptable proposals to replace, infill or extend properties to protect existing neighbourhood character, the amenity of existing residents and require the adherence to current residential parking standards.

4.35 Intensification of the residential use brings additional traffic and car parking needs, but often without the infrastructure to accommodate it, overloading parking and highway infrastructure to a point where it is well below North Somerset’s Residential Parking Standards (2021) causing risk and obstructions to emergency and service vehicles, impacting resident access and other road users and pedestrians.

Relevant Objective

O8 To protect Portishead’s stock of one and two bedroom and accessible homes, and ensure that any future housing that comes forward to meet government targets contains a diverse range of tenures, forms and sizes to meet the identified housing needs of the community, protects and enhances Portishead’s distinct character and maintains resident amenity and highway safety.

Local Policy Context

  • CS15: Mixed and Balanced Communities 
  • CS12: Achieving High Quality Design and Place-Making
  • CS11: Parking
  • DM37: Residential development in existing residential areas
  • DM38: Extensions to Dwellings
  • North Somerset Parking Standards SPD


Proposals to enlarge or add residential floorspace to existing residential properties will only be supported where it can be demonstrated that the proposed development would:

  • Meet criteria set out in North Somerset Core Strategy Policy CS12 (Achieving high quality design) and Development Management Policy DM38 (Extensions to dwellings) and
  • Comply with North Somerset Parking Standards SPD (2021) and
  • Demonstrate how it has protected and complimented the distinctive residential character and appearance of the host neighbourhood identified within the Portishead Community Character Statement (2021).