Welsh data center provider Next Generation Data (NGD) wants to build four new three-story data buildings on its site near Newport.

Local activists say the plans to expand the campus at Imperial Park in the town of Marshfield will damage the standard of life for residents.

NGD’s planning statement on Newport Council’s website said: “As a result of the significant global increase in demand for cloud data storage in recent years, existing clients and new clients are requesting a greater supply of cloud storage. The existing data center will begin to approach its full capacity over the next few years. The proposed development seeks to ensure that additional capacity is provided to accommodate this demand.”

ngd newport
NGD's current data center in Imperial Park – NGD

The plans

NGD is proposing to develop four separate data centers each providing three clear floors of data hall space in Imperial Park, a 345-acre site.

Each of the proposed data halls would be just over 686 sq m (7,384 sq ft) and supported by around 1,075 sq m (11,500 sq ft) of switch/battery rooms plus office space of around 37 sq m (400 sq ft).

The application has been made with the help of construction firm Atkins, and will be considered by Newport Council’s planning committee in the coming months.

Neighbors have objected to the visual and noise impact of the planned development, 40 meters from the nearest house in Pencarn Avenue. One resident told the local newspaper, South Wales Argus, neighbors will have to “break their necks if they wish to see any skyline out of their kitchen window.”

Concerns have also been raised over the noise from the data center’s air-conditioning units.

According to the paper, the parish council, Coedkernew Community Council, said 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 center," adding it would have an "overwhelming effect" on the residents.

NGD was bought by French investors InfraVia for a reported £100 million ($130m) in 2016. In October 2019, the Daily Telegraph reported that InfraVia was interested in selling the company on to Legal & General - but nothing further has been heard on this report.