Amazon go: Major Dublin data centre given green light to build

23 Jan 2018

Amazon sign. Image: Eric Broder Van Dyke/Shutterstock

While Apple still languishes in the quagmire of objection to planning permissions, Amazon has managed to come out the other side.

Amazon has secured permission from An Bord Pleanála to start building its 223,000 sq ft data centre in Mulhuddart, Dublin, despite attempts to derail the company’s plans.

According to The Irish Times, this will allow Amazon Data Services Ireland Limited (ADSIL) – its given name in Ireland – to build the first phase of the development dubbed ‘Project G’, which is estimated to be worth a total of €1bn.

The recommendation for the plans to be approved came from senior planning inspector John Desmond, who said the building of such a large part of the country’s digital infrastructure “must be viewed positively”.

IDA Ireland – which also owns the 26-hectare site that could play host to seven more data centres – also backed the plans, saying that the data centre was crucial to maintain the country’s competitiveness on the world stage.

The successful application will come as a blow to Athenry-based engineer Allan Daly, who submitted an objection to the plan, claiming that ADSIL had failed to given any indication as to how much power the centre would require from the country’s electricity grid.

ADSIL did add that it had withdrawn a requirement for a 220kV substation to help power the centre, saying that the connection was not a part of the latest planning application.

Government still behind Apple data centre plans

This comes after Daly and fellow Athenry resident Sinéad Fitzpatrick submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court last December after an attempt to block the building of the €850m Apple data centre failed in the High Court.

The objectors argued that the board did not carry out a proper Environmental Impact Assessment of the proposed development, and that concerns around the energy demands of such a large project were not adequately addressed.

Yesterday (22 January), it emerged that An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD, had written to Apple CEO Tim Cook to say that the Government would do all it could to make sure the centre gets approved.

“Please be assured that the Irish Government and IDA Ireland will do all we can to continue to support your operations and future plans in Cork and Galway as your business needs develop,” Varadkar wrote in November.

 Amazon sign. Image: Eric Broder Van Dyke/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic