Refurbished Spitfire hangar

Visit to Filton Airfield

Plan of Filton Airfield development
Plan of Filton Airfield development. Click for more detail.

On the 23rd May forty plus members of Bristol Civic Society were hosted on their visit to Filton Airfield by YTL Development. The Malaysian company will, over the course of the next two decades or so, develop the land and remove the runway to form an important mixed residential and commercial space along with improved transport infrastructure, to meet the expanding needs of Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Ms Christiana Makariou (Planning and Development) of YTL provided an informative overview on how the 380 acre site, complete with its historically important 1.5 mile runway, will be developed. The development known within YTL as ‘Brabazon Bristol’ is, at the moment, concentrated at the eastern end of the site, where the first residential phase is located with entry from Blenheim Roundabout, that includes c.240 houses, plus over 2 million square feet of employment space, with entry from the A38.

Refurbished Spitfire hangar
Refurbished Spitfire hangar

The development vision also includes three new schools and a new rail station, the metro bus network will also service the area. The existing unlisted Brabazon and listed Spitfire buildings along with the exiting Concorde Museum which so clearly represent Bristol’s aircraft manufacturing history, are all located in the eastern area. We were told of exciting plans to include both the Spitfire and Brabazon buildings into the new community.

The Spitfire building for example, will have a café for the community along with community space provision, inside the building a mezzanine floor with commercial office space will broaden the buildings uses. Much debate continues about potential new uses for the huge Brabazon hanger.

Civic Society group enters the Brabazon hangar.

YTL were keen to stress the focus on quality of the new housing which was described as comfortable and spacious, new residents will be encouraged to use the enhanced public transport services but private cars are also permitted. The landscaping provides public spaces, and safe cycling and pedestrian routes. Ultimately and with following phases included, the site will see more than 2675 new homes created. This is indeed a significant project for North Bristol.

Ms Makariou was kind enough to answer questions from BCS members regarding her presentation, afterwards we were able to travel along the length of the huge runway and to take a peek inside the massive and cavernous Brabazon hanger. Truly, a memorable experience.
Many thanks to YTL Developments for facilitating the visit.

(YTL Developments are a division of a large Malaysian company who have £3billion UK assets and who own Wessex Water).

Nic Billane