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15-Building Data Center Campus Proposed Near London Could Be Europe's Largest

A rendering of the proposed London Data Freeport campus in Havering.

A nearly $6B project planned outside of London is being touted as the largest data center campus in Europe. 

Developer Digital Reef is in negotiations with officials in the eastern London Borough of Havering for permission to build a 202-hectare (499-acre) data center campus on what is currently undeveloped land. Branded as the London Data Freeport, documents filed with the Havering Council indicate the $5.97B campus could have an eventual capacity of around 600 megawatts spread across 15 separate data centers.

The proposal also promises the addition of a public "ecology park" on the site. According to council documents, officials appear poised to approve what they say will be "Europe’s largest data center" when they meet to discuss the project Tuesday. 

"This project represents one of the largest mobile investments globally, representing 25 percent of all UK inward investment in 2021 alone," said Ray Morgon, leader of Havering Council, according to IREI. "This intrepid opportunity will both boost our council finances from new business rate payers and provide a shot in the arm for wider local economy, through new jobs for Havering residents, developing training and skills as well as opening up to 300 acres as a new ecology park for the public to enjoy."

There have been no hints as to potential tenants at the London Data Freeport, which sits about 15 miles from one of the UK’s densest concentrations of data centers in London’s Docklands area. The scale of the proposed project is massive: 10 separate 50-megawatt data centers and five 20-megawatt facilities, totaling more than 3.55M SF of data center space.

Developers have also promised that the site will be carbon neutral, with on-site renewable power generation and extensive battery storage. Applications filed with borough officials suggest a five-stage construction plan with a targeted completion data of 2027.

According to Data Center Dynamics, developer Digital Reef appears to be a subsidiary of London-based Reef Group. Although the Reef Group has an extensive portfolio across a variety of asset classes, the company isn't considered a significant player in the data center space. Its first foray into data centers was in April, when the Reef Group filed plans to build a 23-hectare data center and technology park near Oxford. 

Related Topics: Reef Group, Havering