Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PWH3: New Housing to Meet Local Needs in Portishead


4.36 One of the most important priorities of the Neighbourhood Plan is to help meet the housing needs of Portishead’s community. In preparing the Neighbourhood Plan, the Steering Group has combined evidence gained from both technical housing needs analysis and local engagement.

4.37 Whilst there has been very significant housing development in the last decade, house prices in Portishead have risen by more than 50%. In 2021, the average UK house price was £250,000, similar to the average price in Weston Super Mare. The average house in Portishead now costs in excess of £400,000 (Rightmove 2022). The Portishead Housing Needs Assessment 2021 has identified that a household income of at least £90,000 is required to afford repayments on a market home in Portishead. However, the average total household income before housing costs locally was £46,833 in Portishead in 2018 (ONS). It provides distinct evidence that buying a home is impossible for single people and households even on average incomes. As a result there has been a significant growth in market renting in Portishead. Whilst this is affordable to average income households, this option remains too expensive for many below this.

4.38 The 2021 proposal to convert the “Marina Gardens” retirement development to 127 studio, one and two-bedroom affordable and shared ownership homes, which was supported by North Somerset Council, demonstrates the need and demand for smaller affordable homes in Portishead.

4.39 North Somerset Core Strategy policy CS15 (Mixed and balanced communities) seeks to ensure a genuine mix of housing types within existing and future communities. Within this balance, policy CS16 (Affordable housing) requires at least 30% of the homes provided on applicable sites, including those of more than 10 homes, are provided as on-site affordable housing. This policy identifies the tenure split between social rented housing and intermediate, discounted market housing. The balance of tenures and house types may be adjusted on individual sites to address distinct and changing local needs and delivery viability.

4.40 North Somerset Council’s Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (2013) provides housing providers with further detailed criteria guidance which should be read in conjunction with meeting housing policies.

4.41 The Neighbourhood Plan and associated local needs evidence aims to add the local housing needs detail to increase the effectiveness of adopted North Somerset affordable housing policy framework to deliver the right types of housing to help local people secure a home that meets their needs, whether through open market or through subsidised pathways.

4.42 Throughout the lifetime of the Neighbourhood Plan strategic housing policy and local needs may change. Proposals for housing development will be assessed against the adopted policy and guidance at the time of an application.


Affordable housing is a planning term that is applied to very specific types of discounted housing which is available to people who meet qualifying criteria.

Through the NPPF, the Government requires developers to provide or fund affordable housing as a proportion of what is given planning permission. North Somerset Core Strategy Policy CS15 (Mixed and Balanced Communities) and development management policy DM 34 states proposals on strategic housing sites of 100+ houses should include a range of building types and tenures.

Affordable housing can be broadly broken into social rented housing and discounted affordable housing to buy. The Portishead Housing Needs Assessment 2021 provides a picture of how effective each is for Portishead, and how local criteria to maximise their benefit for local people may be applied.

Social Rented Housing

Social Rented housing provides homes at rents that are below the market rate. They are managed by registered social landlords like housing associations or community housing trusts. Social rental homes are the most affordable route into housing for eligible people on the local housing list and who are not able to afford to buy. It meets acute need and is undersupplied. Therefore Social Rented housing should represent 75% of all affordable homes provided through developer contributions.

Discounted Market Housing

Discounted market housing provides a discounted route into home ownership. Discounted market homes are most often leasehold and maintained within the discounted market sector in perpetuity. This is provided through:

Shared Ownership

This allows buyers to purchase a share of a home – usually between 10% and 75%. Purchasers will pay a mortgage on the share that they own, and a below-market-value rent on the remainder to a housing association, along with any service charge and ground rent. Shared ownership at a 10-25% equity share makes housing affordable to average Portishead household incomes.

First Homes

This is a newer government-backed product. It offers:

  • A discount of a minimum of 30% against the market value;
  • Sale price no higher than £250,000 after the discount is applied, and in perpetuity;
  • Restriction to first-time buyers with a household with a combined annual income of less than £80,000.

A local connection requirement based on current residency may be imposed on the initial 3 months of first home purchase. Local criteria can be applied where this is justified by evidence. A deeper minimum discount of either 40% or 50% may be set. In Portishead, the Housing Needs Assessment 2021 has identified that a discount of 50% will be required to begin to make First Homes affordable for households on average income. A household income of £45,000 is required to be able to afford repayments on a 50% discounted First home.

Rent to buy

This provides the option of buying your house after a leased period of renting runs out. In some cases, a percentage of the rent is applied to the purchase price. The income required is the same as that to afford market rents and affordable to average household incomes, but without a deposit.

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
  • CS16: Affordable Housing 


Proposals for new housing development will be supported where:

  • Proposals are in conformity with adopted North Somerset Core Strategy Policies CS14; Mixed and Balanced Communities and CS16; Affordable Housing, or subsequent adopted Local Plan Policy
  • All affordable housing provided through developer contribution will be expected to contribute to meeting the specific affordable housing needs of Portishead’s community as set out in the Portishead Housing Needs Assessment 2021.
  • Market housing prioritises the delivery of housing types that contribute to meeting Portishead’s specific housing needs, and
  • Schemes are in conformity with related Neighbourhood Plan sustainable construction, active travel and sustainable transportation objectives, protect Portishead’s local heritage assets and enhance Portishead’s distinctive character and environment and community wellbeing.