Planning consent granted for the restoration of Hangar 16U into a brand-new community space for North Bristol

13th April 2023

YTL Developments has received approval from South Gloucestershire Council to revitalise a Grade II listed aircraft hangar into a new lifestyle hub to bring people together and promote active and sustainable living at Brabazon.

Originally built in 1917, Hangar 16U was once a hive of activity, housing ‘Battle of Britain’ fighter planes, including Hawker Hurricanes. The restoration work will see this historic structure return to the forefront of community life as it is transformed into a new public library, café, gym, social and wellness hub.

External view of Grade II listed aircraft hangar, Hangar 16U before the restoration

Bristol-based architects Ferguson Mann have designed Hangar 16U to live up to the legacy of its past, ensuring that distinctive features such as the original hangar doors are restored and rehung. The iconic Belfast trusses and intricate red brickwork will also be fully preserved.

Hangar 16U is located between The Hangar District – the first phase of 302 new homes at Brabazon, almost half of which are now completed and occupied – and the 15-acre Brabazon Park, which will be a modern re-imagining of Britain’s historic tradition of public parks. Work to restore the building is now due to start in the coming months.

Once open, visitors to Hangar 16U will be able to catch up with friends at the bustling open-plan café, read the latest bestseller in the modern library or settle down to work or study in one of the original arched nooks that were once the building’s store rooms.

Spread over two floors, the new community hub will cater to adults and children alike. A large hall will be a social space for multi-faith groups and the perfect venue for public meetings and family events. A range of activity rooms will offer space for afterschool clubs and community groups and will host a busy social calendar of events and classes, while the wellness centre will offer cardio machines, weight-training facilities and group sessions – from mindfulness to dance classes – for those wanting to embrace an active lifestyle.

CGI rendering of the busy cafe and social space at Hangar 16U after the restoration

Hangar 16U will be the become the beating heart of the new community at Brabazon. To the East of the building will be a vibrant new public square with space for street food stalls and pop-up events. To the West, the café will spill out onto Brabazon Park, a 15-acre park with playgrounds, picnic areas and exercise zones, criss-crossed with cycling and walking paths.

The grant of planning consent for the new local social hub Hangar 16U is represents the second major community investment at Brabazon this month. Earlier in April YTL Developments also launched a new multi-year partnership with Southern Brooks to fund community development work designed to foster social cohesion across South Gloucestershire and North Bristol.

Empty internal space in Grade II listed aircraft hangar 16U at Brabazon

Sebastian Loyn, Planning and Development Director, YTL Developments said:

“Hangar 16U has an incredible history and we can't wait to bring this building into public use.

"As an early aircraft hangar in a pioneering era of aviation, it was at the centre of community life in North Bristol. The restoration work will transform it into a new local, social hub at the heart of the community once again.

“Whether its meeting old friends in the café or making new friends at community workshops, Hangar 16U will provide something for everyone, a place for all ages and for all interests, for this generation and the next.

“The restoration will also accelerate our vision to create a truly sustainable new neighbourhood at Brabazon, where every daily essential – from food shopping, to schools, exercise classes to evenings out – is just a 15-minute walk or cycle away.”

You can learn more about the plans for Hangar 16U by visiting

The project team for Hangar 16U includes:

  • Architects: Fergusson Mann
  • Landscape Architects: Grant Associates
  • Mechanical & Electrical Services: Hydrock
  • Lighting Design: Lightistry
  • Transport Consultants: PJA
  • Principal Designer (Safety Consultants): Taylor Lewis