Dublin: South Dublin Council & Peter Burke in dispute over data center ban

Aug 17, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

A dispute has arisen between Irish Minister for Planning Peter Burke and South Dublin County Councillors over its ban on new data centers in the county. Burke had claimed last month that the county’s decision to make data centers “not permitted” use in the new county development plan breached national and regional policy and must be overturned. Likewise, ​​the Office of the Planning Regulator, said the council didn’t have “any strategic justification to support” this move and “lacked robust planning rationale for imposing a blanket restriction.”

People Before Profit Councillor Madeleine Johansson who had proposed a ban on further data centers in the county expressed her “outrage” at the Minister’s decision to overturn the moratorium which was “agreed by councilors.” She added: “This is an attack on local democracy and makes a mockery out of local decision making.”

Likewise, Sinn Féin councilor Derren Ó Brádaigh called the move by Minister Burke “undemocratic.” Further to this, Brádaigh commented: “Earlier this year, councilors clearly expressed their preference to see a moratorium at the very least for the next six years, until more is known about the serious potential impacts of data centers on energy consumption, carbon emissions, and their immense strain on water and electricity structures.”

Adding: “With the County Development Plan now made and coming into effect this week, the intervention by the Minister at the eleventh hour, is in my view, undemocratic and undermines the role of councilors, in the carefully considered making of the plan.”