12 November 2020
Local authorities are set to decide whether to approve Zurich Assurance’s bid to build a one million sq ft data centre in Slough.
The firm has applied to build the facility on the site of the Langley Business Centre, approximately five miles east of the Slough Trading Estate, the UK’s data centre capital. This proposal would see the demolition of the business centre next to Langley Station, and build a mixed-use development which would include some 60 homes, shops and pubs, and could include an energy centre and district heating system alongside the 93,000 sq m (1m sq ft) data centre.
It is not clear at this stage whether the planned data centre is for Zurich’s use, but the application talks of “market demand” which suggests a commercial use for the data centre space. Officers of the Slough planning committee have recommended the application be approved, saying its proximity to the existing Trading Estate hub means it would “take advantage of the site’s proximity to digital infrastructure in form of high-speed cable that links London, Slough and Berkshire, the west of England and Wales,” according to local media.
The application was filed in December 2019 and includes a power substation for the data centre. Premises, both houses and shops, would be on a strip of land along Station Road, while the data centre would take the vast majority (up to 90%) of the land, away from the road. n