Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PWH8: Alterations to make Existing Homes Accessible


4.64 Policy PWH7 will seek to ensure that at least 50% of new homes to be provided in Portishead through the emerging Local Plan to 2038 will be designed to accessible standards, however this will be unlikely to meet the changing needs of our existing community.

4.65 Because of our town’s distinct constraints on growth and resulting limitations on capacity for new homes, it is particularly important that our existing homes are able to meet changing housing accessibility needs to make it possible for residents to continue to live actively at home or accommodate a relative in Portishead should their mobility needs require.

4.66 Consistent with the Government’s Health and Social Care reforms, the Town Council will provide in-principle support for proposed alterations to existing housing that will contribute to enabling older and disabled people to remain active and included members of the community whilst remaining at their home.

4.67 Adaptations and additional accessible accommodation often enables existing property to become more accessible. Many adaptations will not require planning consent. But some external alterations and extensions will. Alterations to make listed buildings accessible will also be likely to require heritage consent.

4.68 North Somerset Development Management Policies DM32 (High quality design and place-making) DM37 (Residential development in existing residential areas), and North Somerset Council’s Residential Design Guide provide a strategic policy framework within which proposals to improve access can be assessed. In addition, the Portishead Community Character Statement (2021) provides detailed specific analysis of neighbourhood character. North Somerset policies DM3 (Conservation Areas) and DM4 (Listed Buildings) set assessment and design quality standards that aim to ensure proposed alterations and development within Portishead Conservation Area and to listed buildings protect the historic character and fabric of the host listed building.

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

  • DM3: Conservation Areas
  • DM4: Listed Buildings
  • DM32: High Quality Design and Place-making
  • DM37: Residential Development in Existing Residential Areas


Where planning, conservation area consent or listed building consent is required, proposals to adapt an existing dwelling to improve accessibility will be supported where proposals:

  • Are of a high standard of design in conformity with Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Policies PEB1 (High Quality Design) and PEB3 (Local Heritage) and North Somerset Council Policies
  • Do not cause unacceptable or irreversible harm to the fabric and setting of the host listed building and local heritage assets
  • Conserve the character of Portishead Conservation Area; and
  • Do not harm neighbouring residential amenity;
  • Do not result in a loss of car parking.