Developer keen to build homes in Portishead believes scheme will ‘improve’ town

Portishead High Street, Shops.

Portishead High Street, Shops. - Credit: Archant

Portishead will be ‘improved’ by building homes according to the owner of business units in Old Mill Road.

Phoenix Life Ltd wanted North Somerset Council to indicate it would be happy with about 100 homes being built there.

But following a protest, the authority’s planning officers, having originally been in favour, changed their minds and agreed on allowing the area to be used for a mix of business – including cafés, shops, bars and restaurants – and up to 20 houses, subject to public consultation.

The Times can reveal business owners have in the past week been sent a letter on behalf of Phoenix Life Ltd which says it believes having homes built in that part of Portishead will be good for the town.

The letter says: “We believe there is an opportunity to improve the site’s contribution to the town and the town centre.

“We recognise the importance of striking a balance between what uses are operating successfully at the Old Mill Road site at present and the need to ensure that town centre sites, such as this, can make the best and most meaningful contribution to the local economy.”

The prospect of making changes to Old Mill Road has left many business owners unimpressed.

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Patrick Gardner, of T & G Woodware Limited, told North Somerset Council’s full council meeting: “With £300million being spent to enlarge Cribbs Causeway, the Old Mill Proposal is not going to be a successful development.

“(Currently) more than 200 employees spend (money in town) during their lunchtime.

“They shop, buy their lunches, bank, buy their birthday cards and use the Post Office.”