Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PWH10: Self Build and Custom Build Housing


4.73 Portishead Housing Needs Assessment (2021) identifies the current need for all types of affordable housing and a severe issue of affordability. Custom-build housing should form part of how this is provided. Due to the identified distinct and acute affordability issues, and constraints that limit the scale of potential housing growth within the Portishead Neighbourhood Area, it is essential that all possible and viable approaches to making home ownership affordable are harnessed to the fullest extent.

4.74 The 2015 Self Build and Custom Building Act sets the Government’s aim to help more people build or commission their own homes. If you organise the design and construction of your own home, it is classed as self-build housing. If you work with a developer, either as an individual or as part of a group, to help create your own home, it is classed as custom-build housing. Self-build and custom-build housing offers choices for a potentially affordable route into home ownership as well as design creativity. However, securing land to achieve this is often difficult, especially where land is in short supply and values high, as in Portishead. The Neighbourhood Plan will seek to maximise land made available for such development through larger development sites.

4.75 Core Strategy Policy CS16 (Affordable housing) requires the delivery of affordable housing within housing developments. The emerging North Somerset Local Plan policy DP46 (Homes for All) sets out the criteria for securing opportunities for self and custom-build housing on development sites of more than 100 Homes. Self-build and custom housebuilding covers a wide spectrum, from projects where individuals are involved in building or managing the construction of their home from beginning to end, to projects where individuals commission their home, making key design and layout decisions, but the home is built ready for occupation (‘turnkey’). North Somerset Council registers people and organisations who have an aim to build their own homes. The register currently contains 443 records stating a desire to undertake a custom build or self build within North Somerset. Sixty-seven of those specifically express a preference to build in Portishead.

4.76 By reducing the threshold for provision of self-build or custom-build homes to 50 home schemes, the delivery of the policy objective within the context of Portishead’s pattern of allocated housing growth can be enabled.

4.77 In response to Portishead’s particular land availability and affordability issues, self-build or custom-build home purchase should be maximised though maintaining the emerging Policy DP46 (Homes for all) requirement for 5% of homes, but relating this to sites of 50 homes or more that should be made available as serviced self build plots or custom-build houses for the initial 18 months of house marketing.

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

  • CS16: Affordable Housing
  • DM34: Housing type and mix


Proposals for self build and custom housing will be supported.

On allocated development sites, proposals for development of 50 homes or more, 5%, or 3 dwellings of the total homes, whichever is the greater, should be made available for sale as self build or custom house building plots. For phased developments, self-build plots must be delivered and serviced at the earliest stage possible.

Plots must be made available and priced and marketed appropriately as self-build or custom build plots for at least 18 months.