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Construction of Amazon's €1bn Dublin datacentre hit by environmental planning appeal

Amazon's plans to build a €1bn datacentre in Dublin from mid-2017 could be delayed by environmental planning appeal

The construction of Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) €1bn datacentre in Dublin could be on hold until planning chiefs decide if the firm needs to disclose how much power the site will consume.  

The cloud services giant was initially granted permission by Fingal County Council to proceed with the build on 25 April 2017, before an objection was raised with Irish planning permission appeals body, An Bord Pleanála (ABP) on 22 May 2017.

As detailed on ABP, two individuals – named David Hughes and Allan Daly – have asked for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be carried out before Amazon is allowed to proceed with the build. The planning appeals body has until 25 September 2017 to reach a judgement in the case.

According to local media reports, Hughes and Daly lodged the appeal out of concern that Amazon has “failed to disclose” how much energy the datacentre will use.

Work on the Amazon site, which is located in the Mulhuddart suburb of Dublin, was provisionally due to start in mid-2017, and is set to span 20,739 square metres on completion.

A report in the Irish Independent, dated March 2017, claims the build would take 18 months to complete, with the help of up to 400 construction workers.

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

Read more about Irish datacentre builds

Hughes and Daly, incidentally, are one of a number of individuals named on ABP’s list of people appealing against Apple’s plans to build a €850m datacentre in Athenry, County Galway.

Apple secured conditional planning permission for the build in September 2015, but construction was put on hold after an objection was raised with ABP about Apple’s plans.

Although ABP gave the go-ahead for building work to begin in August 2016, the subsequent submission of a couple of legal challenges pertaining to the project have delayed things further, giving rise to concerns in the local community that Apple might pull the plug on the project altogether.

One of these challenges is known to have been dismissed by the court in February 2017, while the Commercial Court in Ireland is set to rule on the second one on 23 June 2017.

Read more on Datacentre energy efficiency and green IT