back to article Datacenter would spoil beautiful view ... of former industrial waste dump

Plans to build a datacenter campus on a landfill site overlooking the M25 motorway near London have been rejected on grounds it would significantly alter the character and appearance of the area, despite recognition there is significant demand for datacenter capacity in the area. The West London Technology Park was planned for …

  1. Spoobistle
    Joke

    Powerless?

    Goodness me, don't they have wind in Bucks? Ideal opportunity for the new on-shore turbines policy, no?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm.

    Round my way, we had for many years a fair amount of generic "unused" land that was a bit grassy, a bit weedy, and not especially attractive. But now that they've built over the lot with highrise flats, I realise that I found its previous state rather more preferrable. It's not that it wasn't sensible to build the flats, mind you, just that I find that even a somewhat grotty open space with miscellaneous plants nicer than a complete infill with buildings.

    Perhaps there are photos to look at. Although "landfill site" might sound innately and unredeemingly grim; something like e.g. "grassy area, albeit one reclaimed from landfill" might put a different complexion on it. There seems to be a bit of a spin - both ways - on some of the media reporting about this.

    1. GroovyLama

      Re: Hmm.

      That's pretty much what it is. Grassy area, that was once landfill. I notice that most of the pictures in the planning application only showed it from adjoining areas, to show what visual impact would be around it. Never once showed pictures within the area showing its actual rural/field setting.

      Though it's not really used for anything else at the moment. Would be good if it could at least be opened up as a public park. I think there's just a few public footpaths running through it

      1. Dimmer Bronze badge

        Re: Hmm.

        Local authorities decided the old landfill that had been covered for years would be the perfect place to build the multimillion dollar police station.

        5 years after it was built, it was abandoned and condemned because the structure and grounds were unstable and the buried decomposing trash was leaking methane into the building.

        Another few years go by and the building was sold to a group that turned it into a dancing establishment that catered to men. I was told that it was quite effective in removing dollar bills from their persons but they strangely don’t remember the experience

  3. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

    This is satire, right? right?

    With the stated reasoning:

    Among the main reasons given for refusal are that it would "significantly alter the character and appearance of the area" from that of "open land with characteristics of a rural/countryside location" to that of an area dominated by three large buildings surrounded by ancillary structures, including fencing, gates, lighting columns plus vehicle parking.

    nearly all castles and palaces in the UK could be considered illegal, since their erection "significantly alter the character and appearance of the area" from that of "open land with characteristics of a rural/countryside location" to that of an area dominated by a couple large buildings surrounded by ancillary structures, including fencing, gates,etc.

    Thus, all those castles and palaces, that "significantly alter the character and appearance of the area" from that of "open land with characteristics of a rural/countryside location" to that of an area dominated by a couple large buildings surrounded by ancillary structures, including fencing, gates,etc. at the time of their erection, should be demolished.

    -> I'll see myself out, to check if the surrounding area has a character and appearance of open land with characteristics of a rural/countryside location.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: This is satire, right? right?

      nearly all castles and palaces in the UK could be considered illegal, since their erection "significantly alter the character and appearance of the area" from that of "open land with characteristics of a rural/countryside location" to that of an area dominated by a couple large buildings surrounded by ancillary structures, including fencing, gates,etc.

      But most of those already exist. It's something I've been interested in since hearing that no castle has been built in the UK for over 100 years. We have a tradition of building follies, I've been interested in castles. so I want to build one. But if I did, I'd still have to go through the planning process, and planning may get refused on those grounds. As it does for people trying to build McMansions etc. And planning would probably be especially hard for a castle given it's supposed to dominate the landscape around it. On the plus side, it's no longer necessary to petition the Crown to build crenellations, although I probably would for form's sake, and to see if I got a reply. Which would probably be along the lines that those powers are either obsolete, or delegated to the local planning authority.

    2. Lurko

      Re: This is satire, right? right?

      Those you mention are amongst the reasons, but the essence of this is that it's building on the thin green belt between the crime and grime infested ****hole that is greater London, and the supposedly polite and refined home counties. Iver is part of the Beaconsfield constituency, amongst the safest Conservative constituencies in the land. The locals have all campaigned to their councillors and MPs, and thus their will has been upheld - local democracy to some. In reality (having lived and worked very near Iver), I can assure you the proposed location is ghastly, and the design as submitted is really rather impressive - although bear in mind that's based on an artist's impression - do an image search for West London Technology Park, and it's the artists impressions with three grass roofed bit barns. For those who don't know, the village of Iver (complete with some VERY big houses occupied by Tory party mates) is on the outside of the M25, the proposed DC is on the inside of the M25, and butts up against the grim west London industrial estates of Hillingdon. Take a look on the aerial view using maps service of your choice, you'll see that the proposed DC location (51°32'03.2"N 0°29'40.8"W) is well away from the bulk of the population of Iver and would have zero impact upon them. All you can hear at the proposed site is the rush of motorway traffic and the rumble of aircraft taking off from Heathrow a couple of miles away. The location would be vastly improved by a development with proper landscaping, but it all boils down to the fact the Iver locals don't want their not-very-rural village to be contiguous with nasty, rough Hillingdon, nor do they want a precedent for building on green belt as that would see the fields around Iver built upon.

      https://www.google.com/maps/place/51%C2%B032'03.2%22N+0%C2%B029'40.8%22W/@51.534227,-0.4972369,791m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m4!3m3!8m2!3d51.534227!4d-0.494662?entry=ttu

      Regarding your point about castles and the like, there's a wider national trend since about 1900 of ever increasing the scope of "preserving stuff". So huge amounts of land are now near-sterilised within national parks, areas of outstanding national beauty and conservation areas. The fact that much of the countryside is anything but natural is an issue rarely considered, and oftentimes the authorities take active measures to prevent land returning to a natural state, or permit rich landowners to take such measures. Even in urban areas, old is far too often taken to mean good, so that you have many listed buildings and structures that appeal to nobody but an architecture buff, yet hinder useful redevelopment, or sites of modest merit that probably provide no benefit to society at large compared to what could be done if the site in question was levelled. The signal box at Birmingham New Street, or the Rotunda are good examples of buildings they should knock flat instead of preserving, and there's various operational rail bridges with listed status that impede needed improvements and need knocking flat too. I'm not proposing a national free for all, but the current system is actively and intentioanlly biased against development and growth, whilst favouring the interests of the rich and powerful.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am a local resident of the area and I posted this in another thread the other day...

    Although the developers like to describe the site as a former gravel pit, landfill site and asbestos dump between the M25 and an industrial estate, the reality is that it was restored to farm land 30 years ago and is now an area of nice green fields and woodland and is part of the Colne valley regional park. It is situated on the border where Buckinghamshire meets London. Hillingdon council have built right up to their border, and this bit of greenbelt land is the only thing preventing London from expanding into Buckinghamshire. That is exactly what greenbelt land is supposed to do. The council and the government both made exactly the right decision. The planning law is very clear that this land is not allowed to be built upon but that doesn't stop their £2000 an hour KC lawyer trying to pervert the meaning of the legislation.

    And despite the developer's vague claims of billions of pounds of overseas investment, they don't actually have a customer asking for this proposed datacentre. It's purely a speculative application. They are just hoping that if they can build it then some big US IT company will want to rent it.

    There are several other datacentres being built in the area, on brown field sites as they should be. Britain is not going to lose out from the denial of this one.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Exactly what I suspected in my post below!

    2. Lurko

      "is now an area of nice green fields and woodland and is part of the Colne valley regional park"

      You make it sound so rural, and I'm taking a contrary view there's a real risk of things getting a bit inflammatory. Let's offer Reg readers a 3D view to make their own minds up:

      https://earth.google.com/web/@51.53470537,-0.4966842,24.44057918a,1605.30760309d,35y,0h,60t,0r/data=KAI

      Of course, it's all moot anyway - the planning application has been blocked, the appeal has been blocked and that seems to be the end of it. Our debate is only what we think should have happened.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        In that aerial view, the built up area is London. The green area with the lakes and the trees is Buckinghamshire. There is a river between the two which forms the border. The proposal is about allowing the urban sprawl of London to expand over the river into Buckinghamshire. They even want to call it "West London Technology Park". The whole reason that this land is designated as greenbelt is to stop that from happening. It's true that Iver may not be as nice as some other places, but it's a whole lot nicer than what's on the other side of the river.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "The proposal is about allowing the urban sprawl of London to expand over the river into Buckinghamshire."

          What's proposed is very different from the light industrial mess of Hillingdon. Now, perhaps it is still urban sprawl, but can you explain what remarkable amenity value this field has, or what the sanctity of green belt it? Especially when there's already an eight lane motorway through it?

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            >” can you explain what remarkable amenity value this field has”

            It’s a greenfield.

            A greenfield can become a park or become a wood and thus a place which people can freely wander. Okay the M25 is noisy, but traffic noise is part of the urban landscape. It surprises me just how much housing development around the country, in recent years, is on parcels of land like this.

      2. martinusher Silver badge

        I used to live in Manchester, moved out about 40 years ago. I'm always amazed how nasty little culverts have revived to bucolic green spaces once the pollution sources go away and Nature gets at it.

        Its the same with disused railways. We tend to think of railways as quaint relics of rural England, forgetting that like canals when they were first built they were quite a scar on the landscape and existed primarily to enable mining and industry -- that is, things that despoil the countryside. Now canals are revived for recreational use with old industrial building repurposed for trendy businesses and, of course, there are 'heritage' railways, wonderful things that completely overlook what a complete disaster area on wheels a steam locomotive is.

    3. ChrisC Silver badge

      "Hillingdon council have built right up to their border, and this bit of greenbelt land is the only thing preventing London from expanding into Buckinghamshire."

      No, it's stopping urbanised Bucks spreading far enough to join up with urbanised London - as you note, the urbanisation stops at the edge of LB Hillingdon (which is also, at this point on the map, the edge of Greater London itself), so it's the boundary between Hillingdon and Bucks which is stopping London expanding any further, not the greenbelt status of this plot of land...

    4. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      But this *is* a brown field site, it just happens to be in the green belt. "green belt" != not("brown field"). Belt. Field. Different things.

      And planning law does *not* forbid develoment in the green belt, is imposes a *presumption* of no development in the green belt. If a development in the green belt can be shown to comply with green belt development policies, then it complies with green belt development polices and is a compliant development.

  5. GroovyLama

    I am also an Iver resident. This is what, the third data centre application in as many years?

    One of the data centre applications was rejected as it is planned for a former asbestos dumping ground, and was also vaguely written so the DC could be converted in future into a distribution centre. The developers were basically hedging their bets that they could either get an AWS or an Amazon into it, maybe both (other "evil" conglomerates are also available).

    A distribution centre would have been a disaster, there is already a disproportionate amount of lorries passing through Iver because of its location between the M40, M25, M4 and Heathrow airport (and associated businesses).

    I think the only data centre application around Iver that might have a chance is the new one that will kick DPD out of the Ridgeway trading estate, as that's the only one that's actually proposed to REDUCE the volume of road traffic in the area, something residents have wanted for a long time. It is also the only one repurposing existing land, rather than green belt land.

    Iver can definitely benefit from something that brings more trade or business into the area, not sure if a data centre will do that though.

    1. Lurko

      I've lived in the area, the site has zero merit as countryside, look at all the scabby light industrial sites on the east of it, the huge electricity distribution site just to the north, and Britain's busiest motorway to the west. There's a couple of fields to the south, but then you're onto flooded gravel pits, a metal recycling site and a big sewage works. I suppose it's OK if you're deaf, can't smell the traffic and don't look too hard.

      "Iver can definitely benefit from something that brings more trade or business into the area, not sure if a data centre will do that though."

      So you want more business and trade, but you don't want any more traffic, and you don't want a data centre? How does that work? What sort of business or trade do you want? If the council had approved this as a data centre only, then that would have minimal traffic, would have bought in a decent sum in business rates, and provided a reasonable number of decent jobs.

      1. GroovyLama

        I never said I had the right idea :)

        It's a hard one to explain, I'm sure most people would prefer to see their local area improved, but not at the detriment of another aspect.

        The only thing I see Iver missing is a decent sized supermarket, but I'm back to increasing traffic!

        Perhaps it's more the layout of Iver, traffic increases always bottleneck the high street and other streets off it. if there was a relief road that lorries could take around it that would help a lot with local perception. There was one proposed a few years ago as part of redeveloping all the farms behind the Ridgeway, not sure what ever happened to those proposals.

        1. Lurko

          See what you mean about the Ridgeway - crap access to A road and motorways, and a failure of planning in the past! But that's irrelevant to the proposed DC - that would have been a far better quality building, lower traffic and better quality jobs than all the logistics, transport, storage and recycling that's along the canal?

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      They also seems to be describing Palmer Moor Lane as their road access. Which is a LILO on to ****ing MOTORWAY!!!! Though checking streetview it is police access only and gated off, but any general purpose use would require major works to make it acceptable.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        That seems to be normal practise these days, particularly for house builders: we will build 5,000 homes on these fields with no access, but only if the council sorts out the access…

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I should also add that this proposal is coming from Altrad, which is the parent company of Cape Boards, an asbestos board manufacturer which was the source of much of the hazardous waste that is buried under this site. They offered £20M to Buckinghamshire council as part of this proposal, while their former employees are dying of asbestos related diseases caused by unsafe working practices in their local factory.

    https://asbestosforum.org.uk/cape-case/

  7. Fazal Majid

    England's planning system is a mess

    Part of the reason why HS2 is a fiasco is every rural Tory local council NIMBY demanding (and getting) gold-plated tunnels to hide the trains. Same with power lines, there is huge wind farm capacity in Scotland or East Anglia that cannot be used in Southeast England where the demand is because of inadequate transmission power lines.

    https://www.economist.com/britain/2023/10/26/britain-must-overhaul-the-way-it-approves-infrastructure

    1. Lurko

      Re: England's planning system is a mess

      If we had to have it, virtually all of HS2 should have been in tunnel. No expensive bridge or fly-under construction problems where it meets motorways, canals or other railways, no dodging round SSSI, gloomy National Trust houses, or the estates of the rich and powerful. No noise problems (and very high speed trains are loud). Operationally it would have meant a near constant gradient, more direct routing, and also meant leaves on the line, livestock on the line, snow, high winds or other adverse weather would not have been able to affect train running, along with fewer opportunities for trespass, vandalism or road vehicle related accidents. It should have dived entirely under London with a couple of stops (for argument's sake Paddington to serve the west, Waterloo for trains from the south) and then still underground to join HS1 at Gravesend for through running to Europe. In Birmingham it could have been a lower level below New Street, avoiding the farce of a fourth and less convenient city centre station, and kept heading north instead of that stupid spur that HS2 has at the moment, up to Manchester, under the Pennines to Leeds, then on to Middlesborough and Newcastle. Possibly use the existing ECML surface route north of York as far Darlington, but anyway, none of this is or will be planned. We've committed most of the money and got a crap, incomplete outcome. The same with changes to the energy system, or roads.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: England's planning system is a mess

        Simply extend the Northern Line to Berwick

        Then everyone becomes North London elites - levelling up the north and increasing house prices in Middlesborough to the levels of Hampstead

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: England's planning system is a mess

      That’s because it was obvious from the outset lots of tunnels would be necessary. However, self-serving politicians wanted a bargain basement price that could be used to set the gravy train in motion.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: England's planning system is a mess

      “ Better to make it much harder to block projects”

      [https://www.economist.com/britain/2023/10/26/britain-must-overhaul-the-way-it-approves-infrastructure ]

      Clearly the articles author has never tried to object to a planning application, as if they had they would know the UK operates a permissive planning system which is already weighted in favour of the planning applicant.

      The real problem the UK has with infrastructure is politicians procrastinating and thus only giving permission for a project to go ahead at the last minute. The catch is that only once the project has received government go ahead is the planning application made, hence because they wanted to start it yesterday but cannot because the plans need to be improved, they complain about the planning system, when the supposed delay due to the planning system is whollly down to them. We will see this being played out in the coming years as government finally realises it needs to bring on line a new nuclear power station every year for a decade, starting last year.

  8. Howard Sway Silver badge

    need for 1,730 MW of additional data centre capacity within the SAZ (Slough Availability Zone)

    Another fine example of jargon obsessed fools who have to obsessively create acronyms for everything, then explain what they mean whenever they use them, because anybody outside their tiny group is going to be completely unaware that there is such a thing as the "Slough Availability Zone".

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: need for 1,730 MW of additional data centre capacity within the SAZ (Slough Availability Zone)

      Friend of a friend was responsible for promoting IMK (International Milton Keynes) as a Global City on a world stage - from a spare room in Buckinghamshire

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: need for 1,730 MW of additional data centre capacity within the SAZ (Slough Availability Zone)

        Don't knock it, MK is a great place to live and work. But I'll take your implied point that it's only slightly more international than Cinderford.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: need for 1,730 MW of additional data centre capacity within the SAZ (Slough Availability Zone)

          But to think that adding an I was suddenly going to make it LA or SF speaks of a PR muppet doing too much 'invigorating morning powder'

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Slough Availability Zone

      That's the first four days of a period, right?

  9. tmTM

    They are not wrong

    A datacentre is very different to a landfill site, it does change the characteristic of the area.

    Plus green belt. You just can't build on green belt, it's extremely difficult to get permission.

  10. Lee D Silver badge

    If it was last used as a landfill in 1987, chances are its nothing like a landfill now. There are lots of former landfills that are now parks, green hills, and actually quite pretty.

    I mean, it could look like Beckton Ski Slope (anyone?) but it could also just look like a hill now.

    That aside, I live in rural Oxfordshire now, and it's actually very picturesque but you could easily ruin it with just one new huge building like that. Whether it was near me or not, I wouldn't want it spoiling that view when there are plenty of more suitable locations - a datacentre doesn't need to be out in the sticks, it could be on any brownfield site. Hey, what does Ford Dagenham look like nowadays? And I think they had 2 wind turbines there at one point, plus a large river for cooling...

    And I'm no NIMBY. The only planning permission near me lately was for 10 very nice houses that would have kept my cul-de-sac a cul-de-sac permanently. At the moment, it just ends facing a field, and I can quite see someone trying to turn that into a road to new houses on the field at some point. But the plans were to shut it off and I would live in an isolated rural cul-de-sac forever more. I was quite sad to see the planning denied (mainly because it would almost double the "traffic" and the population of the town overnight, and Oxfordshire's argument against it basically said that there were TONS of other, more suitable sites, and that you could make far more houses elsewhere (than building just ten £1m mansions for rich people), and that expansion on that land would require humungous upgrades to everything in the local area because there are no shops, schools, doctors, etc. I was actually in agreement but also secretly wanting them to build it so I only have millionaires a long way away as neighbours, and nobody can ever use my road as a cut-through, and pretty much all further planning would be denied because of the way it was laid out making anything else impractical.

    But for sure I could find you a better site for a datacentre, in a much better place for people to actually get to in order to work there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "And I'm no NIMBY"

      With the greatest of respect, from that post you come across as a top notch NIMBY. If somebody wanted to build the proposed DC in my area I'd have no problem - and let's be clear this development would have been invisible from the residential properties in Iver on the other side of the M25.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And what about the residential properties in Iver that are not on the other side of the M25?

        People keep talking about NIMBYs, but if you ever try and oppose a multi-million pound in project in your back yard, you will discover that the views of concerned local residents carry precisely zero weight in the decision making process. Sure you can write an objection and encourage your neighbours to do the same if it makes you feel any better.

        At the end of the day, the council's decision comes down to "Does this proposal comply with the planning laws?". In this case, the proposal clearly does NOT comply with the planning laws, specifically the greenbelt regulations. Therefore it quite rightly got refused.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "And what about the residential properties in Iver that are not on the other side of the M25?"

          They should have their say, and that should be weighed against the interests of the landowner to develop their own land. You can't stop every development just because somebody doesn't like it. In the case of the handful of Iver houses on the inside of the M25, the system should take account of the fact that the DC wouldn't have any traffic impact on them (check on maps), they they're already adjacent to the less salubrious elements of Hillingdon's industrial sites, they're a stone's throw from the M25 and virtually under the electricity pylons. Done properly, the DC developer could have been persuaded to pay up for some improvements to roads, or additional sound barrier along the M25, and there's the point - this development had a reasonable prospect of improving the area for everybody, bringing the council more money, and creating some good quality jobs, but instead the religious attachment to the idea of the green belt, and a good dose of nimbyism scuppered it. Bu green belt only counts when the government want it to - HS2 is tearing up the green belt a treat, and as and when Heathrow R3 is rubber stamped that'll almost entirely be on green belt, just to the south of the area this thread is discussing.

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            Do you know what happens when you allow things because they're "only a stone's throw" from something horrible, but at the same time tear up the green-belt plans?

            There's only one inevitable conclusion, and that's precisely what made the green belt necessary in the first place - everything turns into concrete which grows, unchecked.

            10 years ago, you were next to a field. Now you're next to a house that's next to a house that's next to a house that's next to a motorway... and before you know it there is no field, and the next field over is the same, and so on and so on.

            Nobody wants a motorway in their back yard, but equally nobody wants zero development at all, either (especially with a growing population).

            It's about choosing the best place for it... and in a long-established and legally-sound green belt is not the place when you could go a few miles in a couple of directions and do just the same but without infringing on the green belt.

            Do you know, I lived in and around London for 40 years and I'd never seen anything like the wildlife, flora, night-sky and silence that I got when I moved into a part of Oxfordshire just 20 minutes from London? We can't just obliterate all that without thinking, when there are plenty of other urban and semi-urban places to build a datacentre.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Do you know, I lived in and around London for 40 years and I'd never seen anything like the wildlife, flora, night-sky and silence that I got when I moved into a part of Oxfordshire just 20 minutes from London? We can't just obliterate all that without thinking, when there are plenty of other urban and semi-urban places to build a datacentre."

              So you've moved somewhere nice, you'd now like to stymie any development you don't like and put all the stuff you perceive as having some remote threat to your rural idyll next to the people you used to live amongst. That's hardly considerate, although I suppose it's not too far from my idea to put a 100 foot high wall on the central reservation of the M25, and keep Londoners permanently in London. Machine gun towers, razor wire, mines, anti-tunnelling measures, the whole caboodle.

              At a more reasoned level, nobody was proposing concreting over the shires, but there's only so many brownfield sites that are suitable (and an ex-tip is brownfield). Maybe, despite the UK population growth of 10m in the past two decades we can keep London corralled inside established boundaries, and with a cordon sanitaire to please the Tory voters of suburbia?

              1. ChoHag Silver badge

                > put a 100 foot high wall on the central reservation of the M25, and keep Londoners permanently in London. Machine gun towers, razor wire, mines, anti-tunnelling measures, the whole caboodle.

                Could you please put the wall on the outer edge of the M25? I don't want to be stuck going one way.

                1. Lurko

                  Outer edge? That means you're on the inside! That's worrying. Overlooking that because I'm a polite and easy going sort, where's the value in getting quickly from from one ghastly part of The Smoke to another?

                2. spireite Silver badge

                  Escape from LA becomes real.

                  Do we need to send Kurt Russel in to get Khan?

        2. hoola Silver badge

          And crucially if it is rejected or the conditions the local authority imposes as part of granting permission are deemed too onerous, the applicant simply appeals to the Planning Inspectorate how pretty much always go with the developer.

          Worse they often delete any of the planning gain.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            This has gone to the Inspectorate, and they upheld the refusal.

        3. Roland6 Silver badge

          >” At the end of the day, the council's decision comes down to "Does this proposal comply with the planning laws?".

          Not necessarily always the case…

          https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/families-fear-losing-homes-as-football-club-plans-to-buy-them-to-expand-stadium/ar-AA1jAydT

          But your objection to not be rejected out of hand needs to be wholly based on planning law.

    2. James R Grinter

      Even Beckton Ski Slope (nee Beckton Gas Works) doesn't really look like a ski slope now: these days it’s just the Beckton Alps, again.

  11. Vikingforties
    Joke

    "One point seventy three jigowatts!" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

  12. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    SAZ (Slough Availability Zone) - really ?

    What about adding DMZ - Doncaster Metropolitan Zone

    (Or Doncaster Meth Zone)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SAZ (Slough Availability Zone) - really ?

      Or Slough A-class Zone. I've lived there, and Sir John was entirely correct. But imagine the furore if a poet wrote that sort of thing now. There would be all manner of whining, hand-wringing, and offence-taking.

      But t'was and 'tis true, Slough is fit for nothing other than practising thousand bomber raids. And when they've got it perfect they can use the technique on Northfield in Birmingham.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: SAZ (Slough Availability Zone) - really ?

        >Northfield in Birmingham.

        Doesn't really work, BAZ needs to be in east London

  13. spireite Silver badge

    No DC...

    Then they can't state 'Iver big un'

    I used to work for DX on the Ridgeway estate. I'd never say Iver was idyllic... It's got plenty of gypsy stes in the area - that's where Big Fat Gypsy was filmed I believe.

    Maybe they should build on the gypsy sites. Locals wouldn't complain there I guess.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Build them underground

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