Ireland Finally Approves Apple's $1.3 Billion CAD Data Centre

West reawakens as Apple gets green light to build Athenry data centre

West reawakens as Apple gets green light to build Athenry data centre

However, three objectors subsequently asked the fast track Commercial Court division of the High Court to review the decision.

They claimed the Board's August 2016 permission for the development was invalid on grounds including alleged failure to carry out a proper Environmental Impact Assessment.

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, welcomed today's High Court ruling allowing the Athenry Apple datacentre project to proceed. The three objectors are, however, expected to appeal.

Ireland's Data Economy stated that "The construction of the 166,000 sqm data centre is expected to generate up to 300 jobs during the different phases of expansion". 150 technical staff are to be employed once the facility is put to work.

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

Apple first announced plans for the data centre in West Ireland in February 2015.

"It all points to a need to reform our planning laws so that important infrastructural development such as this do not get caught up in years of objections and appeal after appeal".

"This had been a long-drawn out process, yet the local community and Apple have continuously demonstrated their commitment to the project and to investing in Ireland". That appeal was delayed not once but twice, leading some to lose hope that the project would ever proceed.

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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. Around the same time, thousands of people in Athenry marched in favour of the data centre.

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.

A similar Apple centre announced at the same time in Denmark is due to begin operations later this year and Apple has announced it will build a second data centre there. The Apple Athenry case is a very good example of a planning system that in its current form is dysfunctional and can too easily be exploited.

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