Future of central Portishead takes another step forward
Councillors have unanimously endorsed an ambitious vision for the re-imagination of Portishead town centre.

North Somerset Council and Portishead Town Council have both backed the Wyndham Way Opportunity Area Scoping Study. The study outlines a vision for the area around Wyndham Way as a well-connected, healthy and green place to live, work and visit.

North Somerset Council will now begin working with Portishead Town Council, landowners, residents and businesses to create a development framework for the area. A development framework is a planning document that will be used to help determine individual planning applications. It will guide future development and associated infrastructure in the area.

Paul Gardner, chairman of Portishead Town Council, said:

“This is a pivotal opportunity to develop a place for Portishead, of Portishead, capturing the town's unique character and embracing the opportunities for living and working in a better way.

“This first stage has benefitted from the collective insight of people who live and work in Portishead. The next stage will continue to bring as many voices into the conversation as possible.

“Any future development needs to incorporate a healthy mix of uses including industrial and other employment opportunities. By continuing to work collaboratively with the community and landowners we can ensure we secure the right kind of change in the area.”

The study is the culmination of the first stage of the project. It explores the opportunities and challenges facing Portishead and sets out an approach to shape the town's long-term sustainable future. It was heavily influenced by feedback from the local community on what people like, what they don't like and what they feel could be improved in the Wyndham Way area.

A steering group of local businesses, Portishead Town Council, North Somerset Council and Aberdeen Standard Investments was also established to explore how this area, between the high street, the marina and the proposed MetroWest railway station, could be improved to bring the greatest benefit to Portishead.

Cllr James Tonkin, executive member for planning and transport at North Somerset Council, said:

“This is an exciting moment for Portishead. The area around Wyndham Way presents an opportunity to plan for the town's long-term sustainable future.

“We've demonstrated why community engagement should occur at the earliest opportunity. More than 180 comments have been made on the project website which has helped the steering group create a vision for the area that reflects what the people of Portishead want to see.

“We're looking forward to continuing these conversations as we progress a development framework for this important area.”

John Brophy, head of development at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said:

“We're proud of the way we've worked with North Somerset Council, Portishead Town Council, residents and businesses to explore the future for this part of the town.

“There's a long way to go, and this new vision will take many years to plan and deliver, but we're excited to be involved, and to continue working collaboratively with North Somerset Council, Portishead Town Council and Portishead's communities.

The steering group endorsed the study at a meeting on 25 February. The report was then considered by North Somerset Council on 10 March and Portishead Town Council on 17 March.

The project is still at a very early stage and change will take many years. An indicative programme suggests consultation and engagement on the development framework will begin this year.

The steering group will continue to ensure anyone who wishes to be involved has opportunities to help shape the development framework.

People can find out more about the study by visiting wyndhamway.co.uk and can email WWSA@social.co.uk, or phone 0330 1070 535 with any questions.

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