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Vale of White Horse go-ahead for data centres at Didcot A power station site

Plans for two data centres on the Didcot A Power Station site
Councillors at Vale of White Horse District Council have given the go-ahead to plans for two data centres at the former Didcot A power station site.

Vale of White Horse District Council's planning committee has given the go-ahead to plans for the development of two data centres on the site of the former Didcot A power station in Oxfordshire, and recommended granting planning permission to the head of planning subject to an S106 legal agreement and a handful of conditions.

The hybrid planning application consisted of a Full Planning Application for the erection of a single storey 8,692 sq metre data centre building and an Outline Planning Application for the erection of a two-storey 20,800 sq metre data centre building.

The data centre buildings will contain data halls, associated electrical and Air Handling Unit (AHU) plant rooms, loading bay, maintenance and storage space, office administration areas and screened plant at roof level, emergency generators, emission stacks and diesel tanks.

Also included are an electrical switch room, a water sprinkler pump room and storage tanks, a gatehouse/security building, MV substation, site access, internal access roads, drainage infrastructure, and hard and soft landscaping.

The details of appearance, along with hard landscaping around the building, as amended by plans and documents submitted in May 2021, will be reserved.

Plans for two data centres on the Didcot A Power Station site
CGI aerial view of the data centres on the Didcot A power station site

The proposed site cuts across the boundaries of both South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council. Comprising approximately 16ha (and part of the former Didcot A power station site), it lies between Milton Park and the western edge of Didcot. 9.3ha of the site lies within South Oxfordshire, with the remainder 6.74ha within the Vale of White Horse.

It sits within the Didcot and Sutton Courtenay parish, who object to the proposal - citing concerns over the landscaping not protecting against intrusion from light pollution, noise, and motion and not adequately promoting the use of public transport, cycling and walking.

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