Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PTC2: Business Use of Upper Floors


6.17 Portishead town centre is characterised by terraces and groups of largely two storey buildings. Ground floor frontage uses provide the primary activity and vitality. However, upper floors make a meaningful contribution to business, service floorspace and also residential accommodation.

6.18 Visual surveys undertaken as part of evidence for the Portishead Community Character Statement 2021 have estimated Portishead High Street contains about 6000 sq.m of upper floor space. Surveys concluded that just over 50% of the space over shops was used for offices or residential and the remainder appeared currently under-used. This could amount to about 3000 sq.m of underused space that could be harnessed to deliver greater local economic, community facility benefit or to contribute to addressing the local need for smaller and cheaper places to live, in a highly sustainable location.

6.19 The Neighbourhood Plan aims to encourage owners to optimise the value of their upper floor space through supporting new business and service uses.

6.20 North Somerset Council has published a shopfront design guide that includes a section with guidance to inform the change of use of upper floor use.

Relevant Objective

O11 To support Portishead’s economy and local employment, and support the continued development of a diverse, high value and low carbon economy.

Local Policy Context

  • CS1: Addressing climate change and carbon reduction
  • CS12: Achieving High Quality Design and Place Making
  • CS20: Supporting a successful economy
  • DM47: Proposals for Economic Development 
  • DM60: Town Centres
  • DM63: Primary Frontages 
  • North Somerset Shopfront Design Guide SPD 2019


Proposals that make greater use of upper floors of town centre premises, including for offices and small businesses uses (within use class E) will be supported where they:

  • Do not conflict with the operations of neighbouring existing uses
  • Have independent pedestrian access
  • Incorporate appropriate measures to manage refuse and servicing
  • Incorporate accessibility measures to optimise inclusivity
  • Sustain or enhance the vitality of Portishead town centre
  • Maintain or enhance the quality of the host building.