Apple still plans data center in Athenry, Ireland; says will begin work as soon as possible

Apple this month submitted an application to Galway County Council for an extension to its planning permission on the site and, says it aims to have built a data center on the site in Athenry, Ireland by the end of the extension period.

proposed rendering of Apple data center in Athenry, Ireland
Rendering of proposed Apple data center in Athenry, Ireland

The application proposes building a 263,800 sq. ft. (24,505 sq. m.) single-story data center building, a logistics and administration building, maintenance building, two fiber huts, 18 external standby generators, and a 20kV substation.

Dan Swinhoe for Data Centre Dynamics:

The news comes as an about-face for what had thought to have been a long-abandoned project. Apple bought the land for around $15 million in 2014. Though its plans to build a data center by 2017 were approved by the local council, appeals kept bringing the case back to the Irish planning board (An Bord Pleanála) and the Commercial Courts.

The company’s plans led to some protests (as well as marches in favor of the project), and environmental campaigners that appealed to stop the development. Other challenges, a shortage of judges, and court issues repeatedly delayed the project.

Apple subsequently abandoned its plans in 2018 and put the land up for sale in 2019, despite Ireland’s state head Taoiseach Leo Varadkar promising to “do anything” to get it back on track. No buyer was been found and the land was recently reported as still for sale. Following the lengthy failed process, Ireland revamped its planning process for data centers to make it faster.

Apple’s original planning permission for the site is due to expire in September 2021. The new application sees the Cupertino company wishing to extend that permission until November 2026.

MacDailyNews Take: The saga continues!

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