Fingal County Council refuses planning permission for data centre

Project not in accordance with Government policy and would ‘contravene’ Fingal development plan, says local authority

Fingal County Council has refused planning permission for a data centre in north Dublin due to the lack of on-site renewable energy to power the project.

The council denied planning permission to Servecentric for thecentre on a site at Corduff Road, Blanchardstown Corporate Park 2, Ballycoolin, Dublin 15.

The local authority refused planning permission after it said it was not satisfied that the proposed development was in accordance with Government policy on the role of Irish data centres.

The council also concluded that the proposal “would materially contravene” the Fingal development plan. .


The local authority also refused planning permission as it was not satisfied that sufficient information had been provided to enable it to complete the process of screening the proposed development for an environmental impact assessment.

Planning permission was previously granted for a warehouse/logistics unit in August 2022 and Servecentric was seeking to amend the permission to change the warehouse use to data centre use.

Amy Dunnigan of environmental lobby group Not Here Not Anywhere told the council that, with EirGrid already banning electricity connections for data centres in Dublin and Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan calling for a ban on gas connections for data centres, it was “evident that this development is not future-proof and goes against the best interests of the country”.

Serial objector John Callaghan, who was recently the subject of an RTÉ Investigates programme into alleged payments to objectors in the planning system, also made a submission on the application through his Sustainability 2050 entity.

In his submission, Mr Callaghan asked: “What is the compelling reason to build the data centre at this location?”

Linda Colleran with consultants for the applicants, Tom Phillips + Associates, told the council that “the overall data centre development has been realised by highly renowned architects, designers, and engineers, thereby ensuring that the most sustainable approach to design, the environment and community engagement is fully achieved”.

An environmental impact statement lodged with the application said that “there is no real likelihood of significant effects on climate arising from the proposed development during the operational phase”.

Servecentric is a privately owned Irish provider of data centre services. Its planning application said the new facility would employ 50 to 60 full-time staff “which will support existing clients and manage the infrastructure”.

The submission also said that “with the growth of private cloud applications, there is a latent market for these services and this will lead to significant employment opportunities in the Fingal region”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times