YTL revises plans for Brabazon mixed-use development

YTL Developments, which is behind the construction of the new 17,000-capacity arena in the English city of Bristol, has revealed changes to Brabazon, the new neighbourhood that will be introduced around the facility.

YTL Developments has launched a public consultation to help shape the future of Brabazon, which is being built on the former Filton Airfield. YTL Developments already has planning permission – granted in 2018 – to transform the local landmark into a new urban community.

Under the existing consent, YTL Developments had been due to build 2,675 new homes, 62 acres of commercial space to support 10,000 new jobs and new community facilities including three new schools, a library, doctor’s surgery and sports facilities, all surrounded by landscaped public squares and parkland.

In 2020, the company also received consent to reimagine the iconic Brabazon Hangars – where every UK Concorde was built – into the new arena for Bristol. In April, it was revealed that delivery of the venue has now slipped to 2024, with the finished facility to become the “most responsible and sustainable arena” in Europe.

YTL Developments has now said it intends to submit an updated masterplan application for Brabazon in February 2022. The key elements of the revised proposals include more homes. The West of England region needs to build over 100,000 new homes in the next 10 years to meet demand.

However, at the current approved density, YTL says Brabazon – the largest brownfield site in the South West – would feel like a suburban rather than an urban location. Brabazon is a constituent part of the Cribbs-Patchway New Neighbourhood (CPNN), which will deliver 5,700 new homes across North Bristol.

Under CPNN, the land occupied by Patchway Trading Estate was earmarked for 1,000 new homes. However, that project is no longer expected to go ahead. The revised masterplan for Brabazon seeks to transfer those 1,000 homes to Brabazon, increasing its allocation to 3,675 homes, without increasing the total number of homes being built in North Bristol.

The revised plans will also include a flexible framework to allow the number of homes built at Brabazon to increase in stages beyond 3,675 up to a maximum of 6,500 should the frequency and capacity of public transport services and active travel routes, such as cycle paths, increase sufficiently to accommodate additional homes.

The proposals include plans for the largest new urban public park in the South West for 50 years. At 15 acres, YTL said Brabazon Park will “redefine quality public open space”. Based around a three-acre lake, it will feature walking routes, water gardens, exercise areas and children’s playgrounds, criss-crossed by wildlife corridors planted with native species.

Brabazon already has consent for enough commercial space to support 10,000 jobs. The revised proposals include space to support up to 30,000 jobs.

Seb Loyn, planning and development director for YTL Developments, said: “Brabazon is the largest brownfield site in the South West at a time when our region’s Green Belt is under unprecedented pressure.

“It is located less than five miles from the city centre, close to major employers like Airbus and Rolls-Royce at the heart of North Bristol’s high-skilled commercial cluster. It sits on major public transport corridors, including the M1 MetroBus route and Concorde Way cycle path. The new train service, connecting to Bristol Temple Meads in less than 15 minutes, is due to be operating in 2023.

“Nowhere in the West of England is better placed than Brabazon to build the new homes, offices, schools and community facilities we need, and to do so in a way that is environmentally and economically sustainable. Our revised masterplan will ensure Brabazon can do more to help the region tackle the housing shortage and climate change.

“By putting the right framework in place now, we can evolve the plans for Brabazon as future demand dictates. The revised planning application will also ensure we can only build at the same pace as new infrastructure and transport connections come forward.”

Image: YTL Developments