Google has acquired a 52-acre airfield in Essex which could become a new data centre campus.

The tech giant has bought the bulk of North Weald Airfield in North Weald Bassett which has been allocated for employment use, but which has had previous plans for an industrial estate refused.

Epping Forest District Council’s overview and scrutiny committee’s January 23 meeting heard news of the acquisition in an announcement from Cllr John Philip, cabinet finance portfolio holder.

He told councillors: “I am delighted to confirm that the council has successfully completed the sale of a significant portion of this land – 52 acres, to be precise – to technology company Google, for a potential data centre.

“This marks a major milestone on our district’s journey towards innovation and economic growth, aligning with the Strategic Masterplan’s conclusion that the site is well-suited for this development type due to its location within the UK Innovation Corridor.

“The potential that this development brings is immense – not only in terms of advancing our digital infrastructure but also in generating high-quality, well-paid employment opportunities and bolstering our local economy.”

Google has said there is no timeline for its plans.

However the move is seen as a boost for the cash-strapped council which is facing cutbacks and a Council Tax rise.

Image: Glyn Baker / North Weald Airfield

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