Case Study

Developing two new homes in Portishead with a nod to family history

How we are helping a local family realise the value of a plot of land they've owned since the 1960s.


Near High Street, Portishead.

We navigated complex access issues and fulfilled a family’s wishes for the high-quality development of two executive homes that referenced their grandfather’s legacy.

The Challenges
  • Outstanding access issues with Local Authority Highways and consideration of nearby properties’ privacy.
  • No services or utilities on site, and very steep topography.
Our Approach

By being sensitive to the family’s wishes and respecting the history of the land, we’ve been able to offer a considerable amount of flexibility in how we approach this project. For example, we agreed we would limit the development to only two houses (although three would fit) and name either the access drive or each properly after the family’s grandfather, who originally owned the land. The family have also had the final say on the style of property and the materials we use.

We will develop this project via an Option Agreement. We will do all the work required for a high-quality Planning application and cover all the costs. In return, the family are giving us the time and exclusivity to do that work. When we achieve the Planning we think we can get, we’ll purchase the land at the agreed price. There will be no outlay in this process for the family, and they take no risk – we even cover their legal costs.

The Outcome
In November 2022 detailed Topographical surveys were carried out on the land and neighbouring properties, to identify key features like boundaries, roofs, and window/door positions. In January 2023 we instructed detailed traffic monitoring and access design work to be carried out by specialist highways consultants, to see whether suitable access was feasible. Across the spring and summer of 2023, the architects produced a series of designs to examine feasibility, concepts and draft proposals; taking in to account very steep topography, restricted access, privacy to neighbours and sufficient size of the new buildings. And in October 2023, once draft proposed designs were produced, our planning consultant was able to collate the design work and thinking into an application to the Council for ‘Pre-Application Advice’. Currently, we await their feedback on our proposals. Throughout the process the landowners have been kept up-to-date on progress at each stage.