New blueprint for ‘vibrant, well-connected community’ on historic site welcomed by Bath architects

March 14, 2024

The Bath-based landscape architects working on the design of a new major housing development on Bristol’s outskirts have welcomed a revised masterplan for the area.

Grant Associates has drawn up the overall landscape strategy for the Brabazon neighbourhood on the former Filton Airfield site, pictured left and below, the birthplace of Concorde and supersonic travel, and home to more than 100 years of aviation history.

The firm has been closely involved in the vision for Brabazon, one of the largest brownfield sites in the UK, since 2015, working with YTL Developments to create the overall landscape strategy and masterplan for the new neighbourhood.

The new outline masterplan, which has been approved by South Gloucestershire Council, will expand the development to more than 6,000 new homes, ranging from rental apartments to flats for first-time-buyers, open-market houses and properties for retirement living.

There will be student accommodation of up to 2,000 bedrooms, with high-quality affordable homes making up 26.5% of properties – equating to 1,700 architect-designed houses and apartments.

The new masterplan is based on a flexible framework, meaning that development is phased alongside improved transport links. 

Three review stages are built into the new approval to ensure that the number of homes built at Brabazon can only increase in line with the additional transport connections and community facilities needed to support those homes.

The plans, which have developed by a consortium of world-renowned architects and planners including Grant Associates and Bath-based Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, US firms JRDV Urban International and SWA Group and YTL Construction Design Group of Malaysia, also include up to 3m sq ft of commercial space – enough to support 30,000 jobs.

Alongside this will be the new 17,000-capacity  YTL Arena Bristol, three new schools, independent shops, cafes and restaurants and 86-plus acres of public space.

The area will be connected to Bristol city centre and beyond from a new railway station, with new MetroBus links to Bristol Parkway station, the Cribbs Causeway retail centre and UWE Bristol’s campus.

Grant Associate associate director Danny Nagle described Brabazon as a pioneering new place which aimed to provide every generation with the space, connectivity and opportunity to continue to shape the future of South Gloucestershire and North Bristol. 

As a result, it would provide new homes, new jobs and renew the fabric of the community, driving local prosperity for the next century. 

“Grant Associates' continued collaboration with the YTL team has been a great opportunity to create a landscape and place-led approach to Brabazon,” he added.

“We have worked from concept through masterplanning to the design and delivery of the first residential phases, green infrastructure and public spaces.  

“This outline planning approval is a key step in achieving greater housing density through placemaking to create a vibrant, well-connected new community with exciting new public realm, including town squares, parks, lakes, play spaces, active travel and tree-lined streets.”

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.

YTL Developments is the Bath-based arm of Malaysian conglomerate YTL, which also owns city-based Wessex Water and the Thermae Bath Spa and neighbouring Gainsborough Hotel.

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