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Apple's Irish datacentre build hit by possible planning permission appeal delay

A "valid appeal" has reportedly been raised in response to Galway County Council's decision to grant conditional planning permission for Apple's Irish datacentre build

The opening of Apple’s €850m Galway datacentre could be delayed after an objection against its construction was lodged with an Irish planning permission appeals body.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, Apple received conditional planning permission for its 24,500m2, single-storey datacentre earlier this month, which it hopes to be up and running by 2017.

However, representatives from Galway County Council’s planning division have confirmed that a “valid appeal” has been submitted in recent days with Irish planning appeals body An Bord Pleanála (ABP).

They were unable to comment on the content of the appeal, although a report from the Irish Independent suggests objections have been raised by local residents about the impact the project will have on the area's traffic levels, its wildlife and local drinking water wells.

Once an appeal is lodged with ABP it has up to 18 weeks to decide whether or not the objection raised should be upheld or rejected, but can – in certain cases – take longer, if required.

The design and construction of the site is being overseen by consultancy firm Arup, planning documents filed with Galway County Council have confirmed.

Computer Weekly contacted Galway County Council for a response to this story, but was told it would be unable to comment on the case at this time.

Apple named Ireland and Denmark as the prospective locations for its new European datacentres in February 2015, with its CEO Tim Cook talking up the investment as the biggest the firm has made in the continent to date.

“We’re thrilled to be expanding our operations, creating hundreds of local jobs and introducing some of our most advanced green building designs yet,” he said.

Any delay to its construction is therefore sure to come as a blow to the firm, as the site is intended to be used to provide European users with local access to online services such as iTunes, iMessage and Maps. Neither Apple nor Arup had responded to Computer Weekly’s request for comment on this story at the time of publication. 

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