Green light for Bath landscape architecture firm’s modern take on the traditional public park

November 18, 2022

The largest new urban public park to be created in the South West for 50 years has been given the go-head, allowing Bath-based landscape architecture practice Grant Associates to move ahead with its design.

The six-hectare sustainable public park, which received planning permission from South Gloucestershire Council, will be a key part of Brabazon, the 2,600-home new neighbourhood being built on the historic former Filton Airfield, north of Bristol. 

Featuring a one-hectare lake, Brabazon Park is set to be a modern reimagining of Britain’s historic tradition of urban parks.

It also aims to be the beating social heart of the development, connecting the new homes and future workspaces with the entire community across North Bristol. 

Grant Associates has been closely involved in the vision for Brabazon – one of the largest brownfield sites in the UK – since 2015, working to create the overall landscape strategy and masterplan for the new neighbourhood with YTL Developments, the Bath-based arm of Malaysian conglomerate YTL, which also owns city-based Wessex Water and the Thermae Bath Spa and neighbouring Gainsborough Hotel.

The design of the park takes inspiration from aviation engineering, aiming to capture the historical, cultural and ecological uniqueness of the former airfield, which was a cradle of the UK aerospace industry and the home to such pioneering aircraft as the Bristol Boxkite, Bristol Blenheim and the iconic Concorde supersonic passenger jet.

The lake will be the focus of the park, creating a distinctive waterside and wetland environment as well as being an integrated part of the overall sustainable urban drainage system for Brabazon.   

Other highlights include a new destination neighbourhood play space and heritage trail, connecting the historic Brabazon hangars with the Aerospace Bristol Museum and retelling the history of the airfields’ pioneering past.  

Brabazon Park will also provide a network of walking and cycle paths, and a variety of landscape spaces – from intimate gardens to open events and picnic lawns – as well as creating extensive new habitats for birds, insects and animals that connect to other local wildlife corridors. 

Grant Associates senior associate Danny Nagle said: “We envisage that the park will create a long-lasting legacy of landscape and nature to be enjoyed by residents, workers and visitors to this exciting new quarter of the Bristol and South Gloucestershire area.”  

He said visitors would be able to wander along the floating boardwalk around the lake, grab a coffee or a bite to eat at independent lakeside cafés and restaurants, or simply enjoy a picnic or the community events on the public lawns.

Those who are feeling active can challenge friends to a game of table tennis, play petanque or workout on the outdoor exercise equipment, while children will be able to explore the adventure playground, whizz along a zipline or climb across a bouldering wall. 

YTL Developments planning and development director Seb Loyn added: “Brabazon Park is designed for everyone; the range of activities and attractions will bind together the new community at Brabazon and benefit visitors from across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

“Whether it is an early morning jog along the boardwalk, an afternoon outing to the adventure playground with the family or a date-night drink by the lake, Brabazon Park will offer something for everyone.

Brabazon Park is a new landmark public space, designed to be the heart of the new community for generations to come.”

Grant Associates is globally recognised for its environmentally driven work such as the iconic Supertrees and Gardens by the Bay in Singapore and, more recently, this year’s Tower of London Superbloom project, part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Its work aims to reconnect people with nature in insightful, delightful and distinctive ways while addressing the global challenges of urbanisation, the climate crisis and biodiversity extinction.

Its design process is underpinned by a knowledge of human behaviour, nature and ecological science combined with innovative design technology. 


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