Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PWH11: Sub-divisions and Conversions of Larger Residential Property


4.78 The Portishead Housing Needs Assessment (2021) identifies a higher than average proportion of under-occupied larger houses within the town, contrasting with the shortage of smaller single, two and three bedroom properties.

4.79 North Somerset development management policies DM32 (High quality design) and DM38 (Residential extensions) provide overarching criteria to inform appropriate conversions to protect character and amenity. The Portishead Community Character Assessment (2021) identifies that larger and detached homes make a positive contribution to local distinction including within the conservation areas.

4.80 The subdivision of large properties to create smaller self-contained homes can help meet our local housing needs. It may also breathe new life and investment into houses that are now too large to be single family dwellings.

4.81 Inappropriate flat conversions and concentrations of flats can harm the amenity and residential character of existing areas. For example, large numbers of flats can lead to problems such as a shortage of on-street parking and bin storage areas and harmful changes to local heritage. Whilst applying to Weston Super Mare, North Somerset policy DM39 (Sub-division of properties) also provides principles relating to cumulative impacts that should be taken into account at Portishead.

4.82 Enabling such conversions must therefore be managed within planning policy criteria to ensure harmful impacts are avoided. 

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.

Existing Local Policy Context

  • CS15: Mixed and Balanced Communities
  • DM32: High Quality Design and Place-making
  • DM38: Extensions to Dwellings
  • DM39: Sub-division of Properties


Proposals for the sub-division of existing large residential properties will be supported where:

  • Sub-division would result in the provision of smaller housing units that contribute positively towards meeting Portishead’s particular housing needs for one, two and three bedroom homes; and
  • Proposed accommodation meets current national space standards; and
  • The amenity of existing residents is maintained and proposed accommodation provides acceptable standards of amenity for new residents; and
  • Proposals do not harm the fabric and setting of Portishead’s designated and locally valued heritage assets and conserves the character of Portishead Conservation Areas; and
  • Proposals protect the residential character and appearance of the host building and the surrounding neighbourhood; and
  • Proposed locations are well connected to pedestrian and cycle routes to community facilities and public transport; and
  • Resident and visitor car and cycle parking achieves North Somerset Council multi-modal parking standards (2021).