Two people standing in a datacentre

East Havering datacentre endorsed by cabinet

Havering Council’s Cabinet has taken up the opportunity to press on with the plans to bring Europe’s largest data centre to the borough.

Last night (9th November), the Cabinet agreed that the £5.3 billion East Havering datacentre project could go ahead, with council officers working alongside prospective partners able to being work on plans for the site.

Proposals for the project include:

  • The construction of the largest datacentre in Europe, with the site totalling 499 acres.
  • Supporting the progress of innovation when it comes to zero carbon energy, digital infrastructure and the monitoring off agricultural activity. This is to ensure the future sustainability of the planet.
  • Moving Havering to the top of the list of world-leading centres for the development of green technology.
  • Delivering approximately 2,370 high-value jobs for people living in the local area, leaving a legacy of substantial skills improvements and long-lasting economic benefits. This will amount to a contribution of around £694 million to the GDP of Havering during the construction period, with this only dropping to £456 million during the site’s operation.
  • The creation of an ecology park and community forest that will take up to 300 acres of the site. This will contribute to the site’s carbon neutral strategy, as well as delivering an open space that all can enjoy.
  • Enhancing the biodiversity within the new habitats, as well as attenuating storm water to help reduce the risk of flooding elsewhere.

Lead Member for Development and Regeneration, Cllr Graham Williamson, said:

“This is a nationally significant project that will help drive data security, energy and food security for the UK for decades to come.

“Although we will be using a small amount of greenbelt, this development represents substantial economic and skills opportunities for the borough. Currently this land is not accessible to the public, and this project will enhance the biodiversity of the area for residents to enjoy.

“It also has the potential to provide a boost to much-needed Council finances from new business rates payments, new jobs for Havering residents, developing training and skills, as well as opening up to 300 acres as a new ecology park for everyone to enjoy. All of which are opportunities for the borough and our residents, as well as the UK as a whole, that are frankly too good to pass up.”

Research into vertical farming will be conducted by the University of Leicester, which has the potential to allow for low carbon food production thanks to 1000 acres of land actually only taking up 15 acres. This can help the United Kingdom achieve greater food security, whilst also making up for the loss of farmland that was used to construct the site.

Another of the major benefits of this project is that it can provide the opportunity for the UK to collaborate and lead globally in the fields of carbon-offsetting and greenhouse gas reduction.

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