: Apple's Hopes of Developing Its Athenry Data Center Dashed

Jun 10, 2022 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Ireland’s High Court has rescinded a decision to allow more time for Apple to develop a data center in Athenry, Galway County. Earlier in 2021, the Galway County Council extended Apple’s planning permission for a data center development in the county. This extension happened at a time when Apple was looking to sell off the land. However, the Court’s ruling now means Apple will need to reapply for planning permission if it plans to develop a data center on the site in the future. 

Apple first acquired the land in 2014 for $15 million. The company also had plans to develop a $998 million (€850m), 263,000 square feet (24,000 square meters) data center on the site. Apple’s planning permission was approved in 2017. However, it could not start work at the site because of several cases in Court against the permission. Environmental campaigners also staged protests and appealed to the courts to stop the project. 

Later in 2018, Apple abandoned the development project and put up the land for sale. However, efforts to sell the land yielded no result. Subsequently, Apple applied to extend its planning permission for the land until 2026. The extension was then granted in August 2021. However, a local resident challenged the decision in the High Court. After multiple hearings, the Court decided to revoke the planning permission.

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