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Ark reveals expansion plans for Wiltshire data centre campus

Written by Tue 2 Jan 2024

Ark Data Centres have proposed ‘minimal’ changes to its Spring Park data centre campus on Westwells Road near Corsham, Wiltshire. 

The new 27 November ‘Planning Statement for Proposed Data Centre (P5)’, written by real estate company, Savills, on behalf of Ark has combined proposals allowed by three separate full planning applications.

As a result, the P5 North data centre that was approved in April 2021 has been merged with an extension known as P5 South, granted in September 2023. An approved plan for an attenuation pond has also been bundled into the new application.

Ark and Savills said in the Planning Statement that the proposed scheme very closely matches what has already been approved. The companies added there is no change to purpose or operation and no substantial increase in amounts of dimensions, except for a water treatment building to the rear of the site. 

The new combined application proposes amendments to access, circulation, parking, enclosure and landscaping. These changes are described as subtle but important for the improvement of the performance of the data centre.

Ark Data Centres attributed the amendments to changes in technology. If approved, solar cells or panels will be added.

The data centre company added that no external backup generators are needed, as the data centre can rely on the existing generator areas at Spring Park. For similar reasons, the data centre requires no other new external power.  

Finally, a water treatment building has been incorporated to reduce water consumption by recycling and reusing rainwater and facility water.

Ark to Add a New Data Centre at Spring Park Campus

The construction of a new, single data centre is proposed, consisting of two buildings connected by an enclosed bridge. The northern building contains spaces known as M1 to M4 with the southern building containing M5 and M6. Both buildings offer three floors of data halls with central ancillary, officers, and technical spaces over a gross internal area of 19,661sqm.

“The proposal will support and expand its positive impact on the local and regional economy … It will also generate an important number of skilled and high-value jobs in sectors that have been locally prioritised,” said Savills on behalf of Ark in the Planning Statement.

Ark said more data facilities must be built in the UK if it is to compete internationally and economically.

The Spring Park campus is currently home to five other data centres. Data centres P1, P2, P3 and SQ17 are operational whereas P4 is nearing completion. Advanced works for P5 North have begun.

The higher northern part of the site was a factory building on the campus historically known as SQ2, which has now been demolished. The lower southern part of the site, which is now the location of P5 South, is a former Hawthorn Works. This area was previously home to plastic injection moulding company, Stephens Plastics.

Ark Data Centres also owns and operates two data centres in the London metro area: Cody Park and Meridian Park. Ark has three more sites under construction located in West London, Chertsey, and Hayes. These sites are set to go live in the next two years.

These facilities contribute to the company’s valuation, as does the company’s client base, which includes a recent seven-year commitment from the UK Government.

In March 2023, HRL Morrison & Co. said it was considering a £2.5 billion ($3.1 billion) acquisition of UK-based operator Ark Data Centres.

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Written by Tue 2 Jan 2024

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