London: The Greater London Authority to halt housing developments due to lack of electricity capacity

Aug 02, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

In the wake of a housing crisis, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has informed developers must halt new housing projects, with talk of a potential ban that could last until 2035, in response to energy constraints caused by data centers. Ealing, Hounslow and Hillingdon, which contributed to 11% of london’s housing supply in 2019-2020, are among the potentially affected areas, which nestle nearby Slough, an area that has recently become the site for a number of data center developments due to the locations proximity to the the M4 corridor, which is close to fiber optic cables. 

According to the GLA, new builds could be limited to below 25 units, with restrictions placed on any exceeding that size. This means that the housing targets set out by the London mayor, which outlined that 65,000 new homes were needed every year in the Greater London area, will be failed, which will in turn, according to the Financial Times, could worsen the chronic housing shortage in the city. 

In a letter shared with the FT, GLA notes: “Data centers use large quantities of electricity, the equivalent of towns or small cities, to power servers and ensure resilience in service.”