London: Plans For a Three-story Data Facility in Loughton, Northeast London

Feb 23, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

A 185,150-square-foot data center is projected for northeast London. Alandale Scaffolding has applied to Epping Forest District Council for permission to construct a new center in Loughton, close to the Debden station, as first revealed by EssexLive. The company intends to construct a three-story, 185,150-square-foot building on Langston Road. The proposal indicates that the proposed construction would comprise a data center with IT support facilities, a rooftop plant with a screened cover and an electrical substation, as well as an office facility within the building. The power capacity of the structure was not mentioned. No end-user was specified. 

The Langston Road application location was chosen as a unique location owing to its power, fiber, and security features, as stated in the application. This location's infrastructure has continued to be improved over time, resulting in increased capacity. So, this location is highly desirable for accommodating hyper-scale data centers companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple. The site, located near the Bank of England's printing factory, is today an industrial estate scaffolding yard. It appears to have been designated for data centers for over a decade. 

The property was authorized for a 140,000-square-foot data center in 2013 and then once more in 2019. In 2007, 2 data facilities were proposed for the 'Old Bank Of England Sports Stadium,' presumably the exact location on Langston Road; however, planning approval lapsed in 2011. The current application indicates that the former data center construction approval has expired, citing the ever-changing and expanding technology needs of a data center as the reason. While the Loughton district of London is not a data center hotspot, it is close to the Docklands district in east London, and a handful of facilities have been proposed in the vicinity of the most recent proposal.