What is proposed?

NTT Communications Corporation (NTT) – the applicant – have submitted a planning application for the delivery of a data facility on land at the eastern extremity of the former Sanofi Aventis site in Dagenham.

The proposed data facility will form part of the Council’s desired media focussed regeneration of the site which will itself be a lynchpin to the Council’s Digital Dagenham inward investment strategy for the Borough.

Th planning application has been submitted to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the Greater London Authority. The submitted documents

• Application forms and notices;
• CIL form;
• Air Quality Assessment;
• Archaeological WSI;
• BREEAM Assessment;
• Construction Management Plan;
• Drainage Statement;
• Flood Risk Assessment;
• Ground Conditions and Contamination;
• Landscaping Statement;
• Landscape Maintenance and Management Plan;
• Local Education and Employment Statement;
• Lighting Statement;
• Acoustic Statement;
• Preliminary Ecological Appraisal;
• Biodiversity Statement;
• Planning, Design and Access Statement
• Transport Statement
• Travel Plan;
• Delivery and Servicing Plan;
• Arboricultural Survey;
• Utilities Statement;
• Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment;
• Fuel Storage Statement;
• Development Specific Remediation & Verification Strategy;
• Piling Risk Assessment;
• Energy Statement; and
• Emissions Statement.

The application package also includes the following formally submitted plans;

• Site Location Plan;
• Existing Topography;
• Proposed Topography;
• Existing and Proposed Site Layout;
• Proposed Building 1 & 2: Plans, Elevation and Sections;
• Proposed Gatehouse: Plans, Elevation and Sections;
• Proposed Sub Station: Plans, Elevation and Sections;
• Proposed Engineering Plans including highways and external works;
• Proposed Cycle Shelter Plans;
• Proposed Utilities Plans;
• Proposed Landscaping Masterplans and Sections;
• Proposed Bin Storage Plans; and
• Proposed Fencing and Security Details Plan.

The Application Site

As shown on the Site Location Plan, the proposed development site lies on the eastern side of the former May and Baker / Sanofi pharmaceutical works. To the north west are the retained buildings which form part of Londoneast-uk business and technical park and to the north is Foxlands Lane and the May & Baker Sports & Social Club. To the east is the Chase Nature Reserve and to the immediate south is the over ground element of the underground (District Line) serving Dagenham East Station. To the immediate west are three newly constructed warehouses. To the west of the warehouses is a vacant part of the former Sanofi site that previously had outline planning permission for a food store. This area is now owned by the Council and is being promoted as a site for the largest film studio in London in the last 25 years and a residential area fronting Rainham Road.

The main access to the Site is from Rainham Road South. Secondary access to an area of visitors parking north of Foxlands Lane is from Dagenham Road. Additionally, occasional vehicular access to maintain the data centre’s dedicated electricity sub-station will be from Dagenham Road.

Historically the site was acknowledged to have been highly contaminated. Since the closure of the Sanofi-Aventis pharmaceutical plant the former occupiers have undertaken a significant remediation strategy. In some parts of the site this has now been concluded and the site is capable of being reused for commercial uses. The application site is one such appropriately cleaned area.

Recent Planning History

This proposal relates to the eastern most 7.54 hectares of a much larger site that has been the subject of a number of planning applications since 2011.

Outline planning permission (11/01044/OUT) on the wider site was granted by the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham in March 2012 for:

‘Permission for Mixed use redevelopment comprising erection of up to 30,000m2 of buildings (Use classes B1(c), B2, B8, D1), retention and re-use of 41,637m2 of buildings (Use classes B1, B2, B8, D1) including up to 3,500m2 healthcare building (Use class D1), erection of 9,816m2 training centre (Use class D1), 9,276m2 supermarket including petrol station, 80 bed hotel and restaurant (Use class C1) and 2 floodlit synthetic turf football pitches with associated landscaping and parking.’

In February 2015, a replacement planning permission was issued as a result of a s73 planning application to vary Conditions 5 (Approved Parameter Plans) and 24 (Car Parking) (14/00959/OUT) which relocated the position of the hotel element and increased the total number of car parking spaces accessible from Rainham Road South from 700 spaces to 763. A further adjustment to the consent (Conditions 5 and 24) was made in July 2015 which updated the Parameter Plans to reflect an amended site layout, size of buildings and to increase the allowable building heights on Areas 3, 4a & 4b from 12m to 15m. Condition 24 was amended to increase the amount of car parking spaces in areas 3, 4a and 4b from 120 to 147.

An application for the Approval of Reserved Matters (Appearance, Scale, Layout, Access & Landscaping) for the Erection of Units A, B, C, D1, D2, D3 & the Medical Centre within Areas 4a & 4b was approved on 10 October 2016. The approval of the relevant outline conditions was submitted to and approved by the Council on 22 November 2016. The approved development was partially implemented on 10 April 2017 with two warehouses constructed to shell level, with the platform for a further unit completed. Development has paused on these buildings pending discussions with the Council regarding the potential re-purposing of these buildings for ancillary film studio uses.

Elsewhere on the former Sanofi site further planning permissions have been granted for a public house (constructed), a hotel (under construction), a supermarket (now lapsed), the delivery of the ELUTEC school (constructed) and the delivery of a costa coffee house (pending).

In this context the application site to which this scheme relates currently benefits from a combination of an outline and partially discharged reserved matters and conditions for three warehouses, a medical centre and a training centre for the London Fire Brigade with ancillary parking, roads and landscaping. These elements will not now be implemented and instead this eastern extremity of the wider former Sanofi site is proposed to deliver two data centre buildings with ancillary infrastructure.

Brief Description of Proposed Development

The proposed development is summarised as follows:

The erection of two data centre buildings (B8 Use Class), with ancillary plant, offices, gatehouse, electrical sub-stations, fuel storage, car parking, site fencing, landscaping and other associated works.

The proposed data centre will include four buildings: two data centre buildings, a gatehouse and a dedicated electricity sub-station. Both two storey data centre buildings will be up to 212m long, 70m wide and be up to 24m high. The single storey gatehouse will be 11m by 21m by 4.5m high. The dedicated sub-station is up to 50m by 60m.

Both data centre buildings will run parallel to the railway line. The office element of both data centre buildings will face the Yewtree Avenue entrance. The building closest to Foxlands Lane will have its emergency plant on its southern side and the building near the railway will have it as internal and rooftop plant. Acoustic screening of all plant has formed an integral part of the design of both buildings.

Both data centre buildings and the gatehouse will have roof top PV cells. Together these will generate up to 1.75MWh of power from almost 4,000 cells in what is the largest single solar facility in the borough and the largest new bespoke roof top array in the capital.

The main access to the site for staff and deliveries will be from Yewtree Avenue. The Dagenham Road access will only be used for visitor parking and occasional maintenance access to electricity sub-station. The site will be permanently staffed with employees who work shifts so the facility operates at all times.

This part of the Sanofi-Aventis site was previously allocated 149 car parking spaces by the Council. 59 of these are on the site and the remainder are on the northern side of Foxlands Lane. All of the parking spaces will be provided with electric charging points.

Each building has a significant additional power requirement due to the presence of computer equipment and temperature management equipment which requires the presence of a new power connection and on site electrical substation. As the use of the computer equipment demands uninterrupted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year operation, there is a need for emergency backup generators and associated fuel storage. This would allow for 72 hours of operation of each building should the electricity supply fail locally or on the National Grid.

To assist with the sharing of the submitted documentation this dedicated website has been prepared. This allows access to all of the submitted documentation on www.digitialdagenham.co.uk.

If you have any observations on the submitted information please pass them to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham quoting the planning reference number: 18/00161/FUL.