NGD Meets Resistance In Expanding Wales’ Biggest Data Centre
The firm is well established in the region with a number of top tier cloud companies located at its facility, but it fears it will not be able to keep up with demand.
Plans to extend a key Welsh data centre are facing opposition from residents. Next Generation Data (NGD) wants to grow its Newport, South Wales facility as leading technology companies are set to move in.
The Imperial Park data centre is already home to a number of large companies, including hyperscale cloud service providers, and Oracle is set to open its next cloud region in the UK there some time this year.
The firm started 12 years ago with a mammoth 750,000 sq ft building (pictured above). But the new planning application to the local council has already met some resistance on grounds of noise and views being affected from homes. One resident said the expansion would “destroy any decent standard of life”.
NGD is planning to build four new three-storey data centre buildings, measuring 23 metres high. It says the development will lead to the creation of about 30 new high-skilled jobs.
NGD maintains the current data centre will “begin to approach its full capacity” over the coming years, due to the significant global increase in demand for cloud data storage. The expansion will ensure it can meet increased demand going forward.
“The expansion of NGD’s existing facilities will ensure significant investment in Newport’s economy and strengthen the area as a key centre for the high tech industry,” NGD says in a planning statement.
But with the site 40 metres from the nearest house in the area, several residents have objected to the scheme. Cliff Jones, of the adjoining Pencarn Avenue, says some residents will have to “break their necks if they wish to see any skyline out of their kitchen window”.
Jones also has concerns over noise from additional air handling units running 24 hours a day. Although he welcomes the new jobs being created, he says the expansion is “much too big in size, height and proximity to Pencarn Avenue”.
The plans will “destroy any decent standard of life for residents,” he says.
And the Coedkernew Community Council adds that the scheme must consider residents in the area “who will ultimately be the people who will suffer the noise and disruption during construction and the ongoing day-to-day working of the proposed centre”.
It says the size and location of the development “will have an overwhelming effect on the long-standing residents of Pencarn Avenue”, as well as others further afield.
NGD admits the development will cause “a reduction in the quality of outlook enjoyed by residents of Pencarn Avenue”. But it says this will be “limited” when considering the existing large data centre building in the area.
Newport council’s planning committee will consider the submitted plans in the coming months.
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