Irish managed service provider Servecentric has lodged an appeal after its application to develop a new data center in Dublin was denied.

June 2023 saw Fingal County Council receive an application from Servecentric to develop a data center on land in the Blanchardstown Corporate Park in Ballycoolin. The council denied Servecentric’s application in November 2023. An appeal was lodged this week with national planning body An Bord Pleanala.

Servecentric dublin
Servecentric's proposal – Servecentric

The company is seeking to develop a two-story data center and substation on an undeveloped 1.9-acre site currently permitted for a warehouse/logistics unit.

The building would consist of two data halls. While the building height would decrease, the gross floor area of the previously permitted building will increase by c. 2,931 sqm to c. 6,524 sqm (70,225 sq ft) primarily due to the inclusion of the first-floor level mezzanine.

The generators specified in the application suggest the facility will offer just under 9MW of capacity. The site would use HVO instead of diesel to power the backup generators and include solar panels on the roof.

BreakingNews reports the local authority refused planning permission as it was not satisfied the proposed development is in accordance with the Government Policy Statement on the "Role of Data Centres in Ireland’s Enterprise Strategy 2022."The council concluded the proposal “would materially contravene” the Fingal Development Plan. A lack of data on screening was also cited as an issue.

Linda Colleran, a senior planner with the applicant's consultant firm, Tom Phillips & Associates, told the council: “The overall data center development has been realized by highly renowned architects, designers, and engineers, thereby ensuring that the most sustainable approach to design, the environment, and community engagement is fully achieved.”

Founded in 2002, Servecentric is an Irish colocation and managed services provider. The company currently offers services from a Digital Realty facility – DUB10 – located in the Blanchardstown Corporate Park less than a mile away from the proposed development. It has been a DRT customer since 2009.

A de facto moratorium on new data centers in Dublin was imposed by state-owned grid operator EirGrid due to transmission issues in early 2022. But even projects with pre-existing connection permissions from EirGrid have faced difficulties amid a hostile landscape.

Equinix, Vantage, and EdgeConneX all saw planning permission denied for new data centers last year, with all three lodging appeals with the national planning regulator An Bord Pleanala. At time of writing, it seems all three are still awaiting a decision despite the expected decision date passing.

However, a CyrusOne proposal in Dublin from last year was granted planning permission in November 2023.