Apple’s proposed data center in Galway Ireland faces delays until at least June, after local residents lodged appeals against the planning approval issued in 2015. 

Apple wants to build a 24,000 sq m single story data center hall in Derrydonnell Forest near the town of Athenry, County Galway. The site could ultimately hold eight such halls, cost up $950 million and would be powered by renewable energy (through power purchase agreements or other arrangements), Apple says. The site will also have standby generators, an electricity substation and other plant. 

apple wildlife bird fieldfare thinkstock photos axel ellerhorst
This fieldfare welcomes an apple  – Thinkstock / Axel Ellerhorst

Local welcome

Although approval was granted in September, an appeal is being heard into its environmental impact.   Most residents welcome the proposed data center, but more than 20 appeals have been lodged since the application was approved, according to Business Insider’s Sam Shead.

Objectors say the site could increase noise, pollution, flooding and traffic, or harm local populations of bats and badgers.   


apple data centre 1 building info
Planned eight data centre halls – Building Info

The full eight data center halls would take up the majority of the forest, which is classified as “recovered land”. It has previously been used for growing and harvesting non-native trees; if Apple builds its data center there it would restore native trees to the remainder of the forest, and create a walking trail, and a study space for schools.

The appeals are being heard by An Bord Pleanála (“the planning board”), an independent body which adjudicates planning appeals. 

Apple Galway - proposed location
Apple Galway - proposed location – Galway Council

Although the board is expected to issue a response by mid-February, a final judgement could take till June, Galway councillor Peter Feeney told Business Insider. 

More details are available on Galway’s planning site: reference 15488, applicant name: Apple Distribution International.