Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Apple Data Center in Ireland Gets Green Light

Apple Data Center in Ireland Gets Green Light

The Commercial Court has backed An Bord Pleanála's decision to grant permission to Apple to build an €850m data centre near Athenry, Co Galway. High Court Judge Paul McDermott cleared the way for the project to continue today by dismissing two separate appeals. However, by November previous year, three objectors - local residents Sinéad Fitzpatrick and Allan Daly, and Wicklow landowner Brian McDonagh - received permission to seek a full judicial review of the Apple decision by An Bord Pleanála.

They had argued that the planning body had not carried out the necessary environmental assessment. The three objectors are, however, expected to appeal.

The data center will represent one of the largest capital investment projects in western Ireland, and will provide 300 construction jobs and 150 on-site permanent jobs, Reuters noted.

Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

"I hope now that our public representatives will help us to develop the west coast of Ireland and to bring companies like Apple in to Athenry - and make Athenry a hub town for the whole of the west coast".

The government has said it is considering amending its planning laws to include data centers as strategic infrastructure, thus allowing them to get through the planning process much more quickly.

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Artists impression of proposed data centre.

In addition to the government's regulatory changes, people in Athenry have also become proactively vocal on the issue both through social media channels and on the streets.

Computer Weekly contacted Apple for a statement, seeking clarification on when it plans to begin the build, but had received no response at the time of publication.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar met Apple executives last month and said they had made clear their frustration with the planning and judicial delays and warned the process would colour decisions that they might make about future investments.

In July last, the company unveiled plans to invest a further $920m in the construction of a second facility in Denmark growing concerns amongst Irish supporters.

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