Apple and Athenry
Sir, – It seems Apple has upset the apple cart in Athenry.
Our planning process is undeniably sluggish and not without its faults and annoyances. Nonetheless, it serves a significant function in shaping our society, our townscapes, landscapes and economy. When big business comes knocking, our planning process should not suddenly become a plucky game of curling, with back-bending players eagerly sliding rocks across an icy surface to a target location while sweepers with brooms decrease friction on the slippery path ahead.
Certainly, inter alia, the pace of the planning process can be improved but to suggest rules and recourse options should have better accommodated a multibillion multinational which already owes the Irish people €13 billion in unpaid taxes is, well, toe-curling. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The saddest thing about losing the Apple data centre in Co Galway is that we have known for many years that the planning application and appeal process is slow and clumsy. I wonder how many other less high-profile businesses and jobs we have lost. We could easily have avoided these losses had we streamlined the process years ago. – Yours, etc,