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Plans for 350 homes in Portishead at a ‘early’ stage

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 August 2017

Old Mill Road industrial business estate, Portishead.

Old Mill Road industrial business estate, Portishead.

Archant

The company behind a potential 350-home development in Portishead says it wants the town to be successful, following accusations its plans will ruin independent businesses.

Old Mill Road industrial business estate, Portishead.Old Mill Road industrial business estate, Portishead.

As reported in last week’s Times, Standard Life Investments has revealed a desire to build 350 homes or flats in Old Mill Road.

It has organised for all the businesses’ leases to end in March 2019 and companies in the area believe they will be forced out of one of the few industrial areas of Portishead, left broke and potentially out of business.

North Somerset Council had earmarked the site for 20 homes, plus a mixture of retail, industry and leisure facilities, in its housing plan.

That sites allocation plan, which looks at the area’s housing needs until 2026, however has had to be reviewed by an independent inspector and some concerns over housing supply have been raised.

Standard Life is one of a number of developers who have expressed an interest in building a greater number of homes than North Somerset Council desired in areas around the district, and as such the authority is having to review them one-by-one and see whether they are suitable for the scale of development being suggested.

The public can also offer opinions before the council’s executive members write back to the inspector in September.

A spokesman for Standard Life said it is still keen to provide some jobs in Old Mill Road.

They said: “We believe the Old Mill Road site in Portishead has a substantial contribution to make to the future success of the town, in line with national and local planning policy.

“To explore the site’s potential, we are currently considering how we might develop a mixed-use scheme that could include new retail, leisure and residential and we have responded to the council’s consultation on the local plan process.

“A scheme of this nature would also create new jobs in the town centre.

“These are early considerations and we would consult the local community fully before submitting a planning application.”

North Somerset Council executive member David Pasley told the Times last week it would be ‘horrific’ for Portishead to lose the jobs provided in Old Mill Road.

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