By Seán McCárthaigh
Amazon is facing a fresh planning battle to build a large new data centre in west Dublin amid claims it could affect plans to build new houses.
Irish Life Assurance has lodged an appeal with Bord Pleanála against the recent approval for the construction of the data centre on the site of the former Jacob’s factory in Tallaght.
The insurance firm is seeking to overturn the decision of South Dublin Co Council to grant planning permission to Amazon Data Services Ireland for the new facility.
Irish Life said its lands, which are next to the Luas Red Line, were zoned to facilitate enterprise and-or residential-led regeneration. It said it was public policy to build new homes given the current shortages, and said guidelines had identified locations with good access to public transport for future housing.
It has asked Bord Pleanála to consider the potential of noise from the data centre to affect the potential development of homes.
Tallaght Community Council, a voluntary community group, has praised Amazon for engaging with the community.
In January, Bord Pleanála granted Amazon planning permission for the first phase of the data centre, in north Dublin.
A Galway engineer, Allan Daly, who had also opposed the abandoned €850m data centre by Apple in Athenry, Co Galway, failed to halt that project.
There are growing concerns among some energy experts that the expansion of data centres in Ireland is placing huge demands on electricity-generating capacity in the State.