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Plans to build more data centres continue to enter the UK’s planning system and are set to boost the construction industry over the coming months and years.

Humber Tech Park Data Centre

An outline planning application to build what could be the UK’s biggest data centre to date – the Humber Tech Park at Immingham (pictured) on Humberside (Project ID: 24084121) – was recently submitted.

The scheme could cost up to £3 billion and is one of 62 schemes for data centres or IT processing that are either at pre-planning stage or currently in the planning system.

Other proposals range from the £56 million P5 North data centre in Corsham, Wiltshire (Project ID: 19442841) to the £352 million Segro Park in Iver, Buckinghamshire (Project ID: 22210313).

Data drive

Some data centre plans are struggling to secure planning permission, such as a £176 million proposal at Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire after councillors ruled the scale of the scheme was inappropriate for its planned location in the green belt (Project ID: 23113842).

After resorting to an appeal, the £139.7 million Republic Future development for four data centres at East India Dock in Tower Hamlets, east London, has secured permission and construction is due to begin next year (Project ID: 22385738).

London is ranked third globally behind only Beijing and North Virginia as a hub for new data centres according to Turner & Townsend’s Data Centre Cost Index, which found that the city had reached 1GW of operational capacity by the end of 2023.

Glenigan’s industry research found 52 data centre or IT processing projects in London at various stage of the procurement cycle without a contractor yet appointed, which gives an indication of the work in the pipeline.

More plans continue to move forward in London and most schemes are progressing through planning without encountering obstacles.

In late May, detailed plans were approved for Equinix’s LD14 Data Centre scheme in Slough (Project ID: 22351940). Valued at £64.2 million, the project is due to begin construction at the end of 2024 according to Glenigan’s construction industry research.

Elsewhere, outline plans have been granted and tenders have been returned for the £350 million Link Park Heathrow Data Centre in Hillingdon, west London (Project ID: 20289877).

Construction starts

Work on the Humber Tech Park is unlikely to start until 2026, but many other planned data centre projects are set to provide an earlier boost to the construction industry.

Glenigan’s market industry analysis has identified 72 data centre projects due to start construction over the next 12 months.

The £350 million KAO Data Centre Campus was given planning permission in March and work at Kenwood Road in Stockport, Greater Manchester should begin in August (Project ID: 23180902).

Procurement of a contractor on another major data centre scheme in Oxfordshire is also already underway. Tenders have been returned for the £303 million Cloud HQ

Data Centre Facility at Sutton Courtenay near Abingdon (Project ID: 18203036).

Site investigations have been completed and, once a contractor has been confirmed, construction should start as early as July.

Data boom

With London established as the European headquarters of data centre development and a host of projects in the pipeline, this sub-sector looks to provide a rich vein of work in the future.

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