PLANS to expand a data centre in Newport will “destroy any decent standard of life” for people living in the area, neighbours have warned.

Next Generation Data (NGD), based in Imperial Park, Marshfield, want to build four new three-storey data buildings on its site, measuring 23-metres high – and say the development will create around 30 new high-skilled jobs.

A planning statement says the current centre will “begin to approach its full capacity” over the coming years, due to a significant global increase in demand for cloud data storage.


NGD’s data centre is one of the largest in Europe, and the company says the expansion will ensure that it can meet increased demand.

“The expansion of NGD’s existing facilities will ensure significant investment in Newport’s economy and strengthen the area as a key centre for high tech industry,” the planning statement says.

But several neighbours have objected, with concerns over the visual and noise impact of the planned development, which is 40-metres from the nearest house in Pencarn Avenue.

Cliff Jones, of Pencarn Avenue, says the development will mean some residents will have to “break their necks if they wish to see any skyline out of their kitchen window.”

Mr Jones also has concerns over noise from air handling units running 24-hours a day.

While welcoming jobs being created, he says the proposal is “much too big in size, height and proximity to Pencarn Avenue.”

“This application is a game-changer for residents of Pencarn Avenue and will destroy any decent standard of life for the residents,” he said.

Coedkernew Community Council says the scheme must consider residents in the area “who will ultimately be the people who will suffer the noise and disruption during construction and the ongoing day to day working of the proposed centre.”

It says the size and location of the development “will have an overwhelming effect of the long-standing residents of Pencarn Avenue” and others further afield.

A planning statement acknowledges the development would cause “a reduction in the quality of outlook enjoyed by residents of Pencarn Avenue,” – but it says this will be ‘limited’ considering the existing data building in the area.

The plans also include a four-metre high security fence on three sides of the site, with CCTV cameras also mounted on poles, as well as nine air handling units per building. These will be located on the roofs of each building, hidden by a wall designed to reduce noise.

Data hall space in each building will house computers and electronic equipment required for the storage of data.

Newport council’s planning committee will consider the plans in the coming months.