A NEW supercomputer lab in Daresbury which could help keep the UK at the forefront of computing for decades looks set to be given the green light by planning chiefs.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has submitted proposals for the 3,070 sq m state-of-the-art building at Sci-Tech Daresbury.

A statement submitted in support of the plans said it would replace an existing facility which was no longer fit for modern purpose, allowing the Government’s STFC to remain 'at the forefront of large scale computing' and providing the UK with the computational infrastructure it needs 'up until the middle of this century'.

Once constructed, the building will house a new high performance computer (HPC) along with a data hall and office space. According to the plans, it would have permanent staff as well as facilities for contractors and visitors.

The site itself is undeveloped green field land adjacent to the Bridgewater Canal and the Daresbury Firs woodland.

Peel Group - which owns and operates the Bridgewater Canal - has submitted a holding objection stating that while it did not object to the ‘principle’ of the development, it had concerns around its proximity to the canal.

But a report to Halton council’s development management committee said: "The council considers the above concerns to be private matters between the applicant and Peel as adjoining land owners.

"There are no policy based concerns expressed by Peel. Whilst the concerns are of merit, they are matters to be explored between Peel and the applicant.”

Recommending the scheme be given the go ahead, the report added:

“Approval of the application will facilitate the delivery of a new investment at the DSIC campus and bring quality employment opportunities within a site that is growing in its importance both locally, and regionally, within the science and innovation industry.

"On this basis, the proposal is acceptable and accords with the Local Plan.”