Apple has scrapped plans to build an €850 million data centre in Ireland due to long delays in the approval process. The company announced plans to build the data centre in Athenry, Co Galway, in February 2015, to take advantage of the close proximity of green energy sources.
Planning appeals delayed approval for over three years but, in October 2017, Ireland’s High Court ruled that the data centre could proceed. A further appeal was then escalated to the country’s Supreme Court.
“Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data centre,” Apple said in a statement. “While disappointing, this setback will not dampen our enthusiasm for future projects in Ireland as our business continues to grow,” the company said, citing plans to expand its European headquarters in County Cork.
A recent report from Host In Ireland predicts that just over €1.1 billion will be invested in Irish data centre construction in 2018, reaching cumulative investment of €9 billion by 2021. The government is planning to amend its planning laws, in the future, to include data centres as strategic infrastructure, with a view to speeding up the planning process.