Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PTC4: Keeping the Town Centre Accessible to Everyone


6.26 The 2011 census found that 18.5% of the North Somerset population had a limiting long-term illness (LLTI) and that 33% of households in the district contained one or more persons with a LLTI. There is forecast to be a 54% increase in Portishead’s community of people over the age of 65 during the lifetime of the Neighbourhood Plan. Unless our buildings, streets and spaces are designed and adapted to meet changing access needs, many local people will be excluded from our community and its everyday activities.

6.27 Maximising the viability and attractiveness of Portishead town centre is inextricably linked to providing an inclusive and accessible public realm, connecting to inclusive accessible shops and services. This includes maintaining accessible frontage forecourts as much as accessible entrances and internal spaces.

6.28 Outside trading and hospitality has boomed during the pandemic. It has enhanced street life and is likely to become a permanent feature of our high street.

6.29 Outside trading and dining requires planning consent where it changes the use of the external space. Maintaining safe access along the high street for all pedestrians and in particular people with sight and mobility impairment is essential. The Town Council will support proposals that demonstrate this has been achieved. It also encourages high street businesses to utilise outside forecourt space with consideration to all members of the community.

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.

Existing Policy Context

  • CS12: Achieving High Quality Design and Place-making,
  • DM32: High quality design and place-making
  • DM33: Inclusive Access into Non-residential Buildings


Development proposals for new shopfronts and community facility premises will be supported where they provide inclusive and step-less connections between the public realm and the premises.

Proposals to change the use of outside frontage spaces to enable external hospitality or trading will only be supported where;

  • they maintain at least a 2m clear footway access,
  • are operated within hours to avoid harm to neighbouring residents and
  • associated outdoor street furniture makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the town centre.

Businesses which utilise external private forecourts are encouraged to sensitively locate seating and goods to provide accessible connections to the public pavement and to install cycle and buggy parking as well as opportunities for customers to sit.