Changes to planning laws considered in light of Apple data centre delay

Taoiseach says rules for data centres could be loosened

Planning laws for data centres could be loosened in light of the delays experienced by tech giant Apple in Galway, according to the Taoiseach

Planning laws for data centres could be loosened in light of the delays experienced by tech giant Apple in Galway, according to the Taoiseach

 

Planning laws for data centres could be loosened in light of the delays experienced by tech giant Apple in Galway, according to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Campaigners and business owners who are pushing for the green light for the €850 million Apple data centre in Athenry, Co Galway, say they are fearful of the long-term impact for the area and the country if the project does not go ahead. A High Court ruling is due to be delivered on October 12th.

An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the development of the Galway centre last year. However, the project is the subject of a judicial review on environmental grounds following appeals by local residents and a landowner.

The Taoiseach met with executives from the company last week to discuss the issues blocking construction of the plant.

‘Frustration’

“They expressed frustration at the legal and planning delays that have delayed that investment,” he said.

However, the Taoiseach said the company remain committed to the project, adding that he shares the frustrations because the west of Ireland needs the jobs the development would bring.

“One of the things now under consideration is an amendment to the Strategic Infrastructure Act to treat data centres as part of our strategic infrastructure and enable the planning process to work more smoothly,” he said.