Data centers could be the cornerstone of the modern digital economy, but for property developers in parts of London they could undercut building plans for the next 13 years.
According to an article published today FinancialTimesdevelopers on the west side of the UK capital may be prevented from working on larger multi-tenant properties due to current strains on the power grid caused by nearby data centres.
The affected areas, which include the boroughs of Ealing, Hounslow and Hillingdon, are within 13 miles of the town of Slough, which has become a major data center hotspot due to its proximity to fiber optic cables that cross the M4 corridor on their way to North America via the Atlantic Ocean. Indeed, companies like Equinix, Rackspace and Iron Mountain have data centers in the area, with new facilities from other companies in development.
Data Center Requests
It goes without saying that data centers require a lot of energy, which is why the Great London Authority (GLA) has apparently written to property developers warning that there may be restrictions on new builds over 25 units. .
This is problematic for a number of reasons, including the ambitious housing targets set by the Mayor in 2017, which noted that 65,000 new homes were needed each year in the Greater London area. While the pandemic, Brexit and inflation had already impacted those goals, it looks like data centers may now be added to the mix, with GLA telling developers it may take at least another decade to strengthen the capacity of the network of the three boroughs concerned.
TechCrunch has contacted the GLA and will update here once we receive feedback.