Apple has finally received approval to build the first stage of its long planned Irish data center, as Ireland’s An Bord Pleanála has given the go ahead for the project, which will eventually include eight data halls.
Apple has received planning permission to build just one data hall but it hopes to build a total of eight on the site over the next 10-15 years. The iPhone maker will have to apply for planning permission every time it wants to open a new data hall.
The board approved the project, despite concerns the locals have over such issues as traffic, environmental damage, and the new center’s proximity to a nuclear power plant. The board took into consideration how the project will help the local economy, as it will employ over 200 workers during its construction, and a smaller number of IT and support personnel for its operation.
The planning body said the data centre will provide the area with a significant economic boost, adding that they took into account how hard it is to find sites that are able to accommodate huge data centres that need to be connected to the national grid.
9to5Mac notes the approval carries with it certain additional conditions:
The approval requires Apple to carry out all of the proposals put forward in its oral response to objections, as well as imposing additional conditions. These include reducing the number of car-parking spaces, promptly restoring removed or damaged trees, limiting noise levels, running all external cables underground, ensuring no extra development above roof level and facilitating an archaeological appraisal of the site.
The center will be built located just outside the small town of Athenry in County Galway. It will initially consist of a single data hall, an administration building, and other associated facilities. Once the center is finished, it will handle data traffic for iTunes, the App Store, Siri, and other cloud-based Apple services. While the company had planned on a 2017 launch for the center, delays caused by the appeals process will likely delay that launch date.