Fresh doubt over Apple centre proves need for planning changes - Galway TD

Fresh doubt over Apple centre proves need for planning changes - Galway TD

Galway East TD, Anne Rabbitte, has said Apple CEO’s Tim Cook’s refusal to confirm the future of the Apple Data centre in Athenry underlines the need for planning changes to stream line such critical projects.

Deputy Rabbitte published a bill to fast-track the planning process for large scale IT infrastructural projects, such as data centres in October.

Uncertainty over the project has grown following Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook which did not result in confirmation over the future of the proposed data centre in Athenry.

The Fianna Fail TD said the ‘Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) (Amendment) Bill 2017’ seeks to ensure Ireland’s regulatory framework does not deter future investment and jobs growth.

"The Bill seeks to enable Irish communities to take advantage of the economic opportunities associated with large scale IT infrastructural projects.

“The mounting uncertainty is deeply disappointing for the people of Athenry. We need to ensure this type of situation is avoided in the future. The bill I brought in last month seeks to change the strategic planning process to allow data centres and other large-scale IT infrastructure projects to access a fast-tracked planning process."

Anne Rabbitte
Anne Rabbitte

The TD went on: "We live in an increasingly competitive global environment. Ireland is one of many nations competing to secure high-quality job investment by major international companies.

“The long running saga to get planning approval for the €850m Apple data centre in Athenry is very concerning. The people of Athenry, Galway and beyond have come out in force firmly behind this project.

“This is a fantastic project, which will be fully powered by renewable energy and provide 300 jobs in construction and at least a hundred full time jobs when the facility becomes operational.

She  concluded: “Balanced regional development is vital in order to bring sustainable growth to all parts of Ireland. Regrettably, serial objectors are holding back progress on this by using current planning laws to prevent approval for this and other data centre projects.

“Ireland needs to send out a clear message to foreign direct investors that we are open for business. Planning laws must not deter potential investors from Irish shores.

“This Bill seeks to accelerate the planning approval process for such critical projects that will bring social, economic and environmental benefits to communities across Ireland."

More on this topic

Apple plots largest expansion of App Store services into new markets since 2012Apple plots largest expansion of App Store services into new markets since 2012

Vintage Apple trainers sold for almost €9000 at auctionVintage Apple trainers sold for almost €9000 at auction

Apple iPhone supplier saw profits fall 24% ahead of virus disruption

Apple closes all stores outside Greater China amid coronavirus outbreakApple closes all stores outside Greater China amid coronavirus outbreak


More in this Section

Disabled in care settings 42 times more likely to contract Covid-19 than general publicDisabled in care settings 42 times more likely to contract Covid-19 than general public

Call for stronger Garda powers to tackle lockdown house partiesCall for stronger Garda powers to tackle lockdown house parties

CMO warns Covid-19 can still spread around the countryCMO warns Covid-19 can still spread around the country

Disagreements remain in government formation talksDisagreements remain in government formation talks


Lifestyle

Kim Sheehan is an opera singer from Crosshaven, Co Cork, and is this year’s recipient of the Jane Anne Rothwell Award from Cork Midsummer Festival.A Question of Taste: Cork opera singer, Kim Sheehan

Developed in Ireland by Dublin-based indie gaming house Dreamfeel, If Found follows university graduate Kasio as she returns to Achill, Co Mayo, from the big city.'If Found': a story of belonging from the Irish videogame scene

B-Side the Leeside: Cork's Greatest Records - Giordaí Ua Laoghaire tells Don O’Mahony about the offbeat outfit who created some of the most innovative music on the Irish scene in the 1990sB-Side the Leeside: Nine Wassies from Bainne - A quirky slice of creativity

More time indoors is a chance to consider how we buy for our homes without being slaves to fleeting trends, writes Carol O’CallaghanMore time at home offers a chance to consider how we buy for our interiors

More From The Irish Examiner