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South Dublin County Council declares Amazon datacentre planning application "invalid"

Amazon appears to have fallen foul of Irish council’s planning regulations, potentially delaying its latest datacentre building project

Amazon has seen its bid to build a datacentre on a former Irish biscuit factory put on hold temporarily, after council planning officers declared the firm’s application to carry out work on the site invalid.

The cloud services giant originally applied to South Dublin County Council (SDCC) for permission to partially demolish an area of the site in February 2016 through its Amazon Data Services Ireland (Adsi) subsidiary.

A decision on the application was initially due in early April, but – following an inspection of the site – the ruling has been brought forward and the application thrown out.

According to a SDCC representative, Amazon failed to comply with council regulations by neglecting to put a notice in place at the site, detailing its demolition plans.

“The planning regulations require a notice on site to inform the public about a planning application, where it can be inspected,” a council representative told Computer Weekly in a statement.

“This notice must be capable of being read from the public road and in place for a period of five weeks.

“When inspected, the required notice was not in place, and – as a result – the application must be deemed invalid as it failed to comply with the planning regulations,” the statement added.

Read more about Irish datacentre builds

The council’s website warns planning applicants that erecting a site notice is required to ensure their application is considered valid. It also states that site inspections will be carried out to ensure this rule is adhered to.

Given the outcome of Amazon’s first application, council planning chiefs confirmed the company will need to submit a new one. Amazon will also need to ensure details of it are circulated in the local press as a public notice if it wants to proceed with the project.

An advisory note on the SDDC website states it can take up to eight weeks for planning permission to be granted, which could delay Amazon’s plans for the site by around two months.

Computer Weekly contacted Amazon for a comment on this story, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

Ireland has emerged as a popular location for datacentre builds in recent years, thanks to its temperate climate, relatively low land costs and proximity to transatlantic undersea network cables.

This has seen the likes of Apple, Facebook and Microsoft embark on Irish datacentre builds, along with some smaller players, including Sungard and – more recently – Interxion.

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