Glenny News

Growing power shortages in the west of London - is west still best?

Growing power shortages in the west of London - is west still best?

With further increases to the energy price cap announced, electricity supply is a hot topic in the UK and across Europe at this point in time. The rising costs are well publicised, but there are also fears that households could be plunged into darkness this winter due to the reduction in energy caused in part by a squeeze on European supplies by Russia.  

While in other parts of Europe, measures have been taken to reduce energy consumption, such as limiting the lighting and heating in public buildings, no such measures have yet been implemented in the UK. 

The current energy crisis is not just an issue for private households however, it’s also proving to be a serious threat to new residential developments in a number of west London boroughs – namely Hillingdon, Ealing and Hounslow. As a result, the delivery of residential developments of over 25 units in these London Boroughs could come under immediate threat. 

According to a GLA guidance note, the cause of the shortage is a recent “rapid influx of requests for new electricity connections throughout West London from data centre operators who have sought to co-locate adjacent to fibre optic cables that pass through the region along the M4 corridor, and then crossing the Atlantic”.  

It’s understood that the Mayor of London is acutely aware of the significance of this issue and is seeking to discuss the issue of electricity capacity in West London at a government level, accordingly. 

These issues currently seem relatively localised in the west of London, and surrounding areas which challenges the ‘west is best’ mentality which has been so prevalent throughout the construction industry in recent years. At present, no such issues have arisen in the Essex and East London regions. 

Given the magnitude of this issue, Glenny is monitoring developments closely and will seek to provide updates in due course. 

If you have any concerns about these issues, and want to discuss in more detail, please contact our Head of Planning Luke Thrumble via [email protected] or 020 3141 3500 

Key Contacts