Stafford Borough Council has received an application for the demolition of the former Royal Bank of Scotland data center in Stone Business Park.

The former facility spans approximately 10,500 sqm (34,500 sq ft) and has been bought by PLP, a UK logistics property business, with the intention of tearing down and repurposing all nine buildings on the site.

The proposed demolition has raised no objections by the Stone Town Council, however, some conditions have been put in place.

In the formal response to the application, it was written that: “the Town Council raises no objections to the demolition proposal but asks that, in the interests of neighborhood amenity, conditions are attached to the planning approval/permission stipulating the hours of operation with no Saturday, Sunday, or Bank Holiday working.

“The management of dust should also be specified with conditions relating to damping down. All conditions should be strictly adhered to throughout the demolition period.”

The main concerns surrounding the impact of the demolition on the local neighborhood relate to a nearby mobile home park. Councillor Jill Hood said at a meeting to discuss the demolition that she ‘continually get[s] phone calls from residents’ as they are struggling with ongoing building work in the area.

There have also been some concerns regarding the environmental impact of the demolition. While the ecological survey found the facility was not providing a suitable habitat for bats, there were signs of nesting for birds. As a result, the demolition will be forced to occur outside of nesting season.

In another application for the site, PLP applied for ‘full planning permission for the erection of a building for B2/B8 use with ancillary offices, hub office, gatehouse, service yards, parking and circulation routes, together with new access off Brooms Road, associated hardstanding, landscaping, substation, gas housing, ring main unit, smoking, and cycle shelters, transformer and ancillary works’.

No further details of the purpose of the new warehouse were outlined.

At the meeting to discuss the demolition, Councillor Philip Leason said: “It is a sign of the times that this data center is not required.”

RBS has not made any formal statements regarding the decommissioning of the data center, though it is possible that closure could be a reflection of the wider transition towards the cloud, and the use of bigger, more cost-effective premises.

The former data center has been on the site for over 35 years and was initially built for NatWest in response to the 1989 Kegworth Air Disaster. The crash occurred close to another NatWest facility, and it was determined that the bank should have a backup. The data center moved into the hands of RBS after the company took over NatWest in 2000.

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