Airfield transformation set to get under way

Visualisation of part of the proposed Brabazon development.

The first major construction contract to transform the historic former Filton Airfield into a thriving new neighbourhood has been awarded to a West Country firm Vertase FLI, based in Portishead.

The historic former airfield – the birthplace of Concorde and supersonic travel – is set to become a new urban community, known as Brabazon. Vertase FLI will carry out the necessary enabling works so that construction can begin later this autumn.

The first phase of new homes at Brabazon, to be built on a parcel of land close to the Trust Ford car dealership on Hayes Way, have been designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. The architecture of the 278 new properties reflects the heritage of the site, with the rooflines at Brabazon designed to echo the profile of an airplane’s tail-fin while also maximising light for the homes’ energy-efficient solar panels.

The announcement of the first contract by YTL Developments comes almost exactly 70 years after the Brabazon – the visionary aircraft from which the new neighbourhood takes its name – made its first flight. The Brabazon first took off from Filton Airfield on 4th September 1949, in the process testing new technologies that paved the way for modern commercial aviation as we know it today. Brabazon is designed to live up to that legacy, creating a place for the next generation to live, work and thrive.

The works entail the excavation of over 18,000 cubic metres of earth, weighing over 38,000 tonnes. That’s equivalent to the weight of 300 Concordes. Vertase FLI has designed the works to be as sustainable as possible, ensuring that all of the excavated material will be reused on site.

Once construction begins later this year, YTL Developments anticipate that the first new homes at Brabazon will go on sale in late 2020, with the first residents set to move in early in 2021.

Rob Benson, construction director at YTL Developments said:

“Awarding our first construction contract is a major milestone in the transformation of this historic local landmark. Awarding this contract to a renowned local firm demonstrates how we hope this thriving new neighbourhood will create not only new homes but also new jobs and new opportunities for people and businesses across the local community.”

Michael Longman, project director at Vertase FLI said:

“We have been following the developments of this prestigious site for many years and we are delighted to be working with YTL Developments on this initial stage which we hope will be the first of many. The skills and expertise of my colleagues at Vertase FLI, many of whom live locally, will ensure we deliver this project in the most safe and sustainable manner possible.”

Related link: Cribbs Patchway New Neighourhood (PJ)

Photo of an advertising hoarding for the Brabazon development, with the Brabazon hangars visible in the background.

Top: Visualisation of a terrace within the proposed development.

Above Advertising boards already in place near Blenheim Roundabout on Hayes Way.

This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 7). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.