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Councillors approve plan for two data centres at Didcot A power station site

Plans for two data centres on the Didcot A Power Station site
Councillors have unanimously approved a plan for two large data centres at the site of the former Didcot A power station.

Councillors unanimously approve plan for two data centres at former Didcot A power station site.

However, the plans, approved by Vale of White Horse District Council’s planning committee on June 23, still have to go before South Oxfordshire District Council’s planners on June 30.

This is because the 16ha site straddles the border between the two district councils. 6.74ha lies within the Vale of White Horse District Council, and the remainder 9.3ha lies within South Oxfordshire District Council.

The planning application by Willow Development is for full planning permission for a single-storey 8,692 sq metres centre and outline permission for a two-storey 20,800 sq metre one.

Willow Developments’ hybrid application is for full planning permission for an 8,692 sq m single-storey centre and outline permission for a 20,800 sq m, two-storey building.

The buildings will contain data halls, associated electrical and plant rooms, loading bay and storage space, office administration areas and screened plant at roof level).

Proposed layout of the two data centres on the Didcot Power Station site in Oxfordshire
Proposed layout of the two data centres on the Didcot Power Station site in Oxfordshire

The development will also include emergency generators, diesel tanks and filling area, electrical switch room, water sprinkler pump room and storage tank, a gatehouse or security building, site access, internal access road, plus hard standing and soft landscaping.

Camilla Fisher from RPS, representing the developer, said the scheme will incorporate 1,160 sq metres of solar panels, a five-fold increase on what was initially proposed.

Cllr Ben Mabbutt said: “I think it’s a good use of the land, and it’s good to have an industry that’s both moving us into the future but is also one that won’t tax our heavily populated travel network.”

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