Valuing Trees and Green Space in a Vibrant Town

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan
Client: Portishead Town Council, North Somerset

Portishead is a vibrant North Somerset town of around 27,000 people, set on the internally important coastline of the Severn Estuary, around 8 miles west of Bristol. The town has an historic high street, a rich history as a deep water dock, and a more recent history of coal powered energy production. Portishead has seen around 60% population growth over the last 20 years - one of the key drivers for the local community in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the town. 

Within and around the town, there is a network of green spaces, trees and other biodiversity features that are highly valued by the local community. The protection and improvement of these features was another core reason for developing a Neighbourhood Plan for Portishead. 

Place Studio were appointed to support Portishead Town Council to prepare the Neighbourhood Plan; including working with local people to undertake evidence collection, policy drafting, and document production. Throughout, we have worked closely with North Somerset Council to ensure that the Neighbourhood Plan complements and adds local detail to draft policies coming forward in the North Somerset Local Plan review. 

To meet the Steering Group’s objective of protecting and enhancing the natural environment, we worked with local people to craft locally distinct policies on trees, woodland, landscape, green and blue infrastructure, biodiversity and flood risk in Portishead. This includes policies to increase Portishead’s tree canopy cover (which is already higher than the national average), protect Ancient Woodland, and protect and diversify the different roles that green spaces provide for people and wildlife. 

The Portishead Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to North Somerset Council in Summer 2022, and is expected to be examined later this year. 

You can find out more about the Portishead Neighbourhood Plan here.

Featured image and photo credit: Bailey's Balloons