Apple faces likely delay in plans to expand Cork HQ

The planned timeline for Apple delivering an additional 1,000 jobs for Cork has been delayed.

This follows residents who live beside Apple’s European headquarters at Hollyhill appealing a decision to An Bord Pleanála by Cork City Council to grant planning permission for a four-storey office block and 752 carpark spaces that is planned to accommodate the additional 1,000 employees at Apple. 

The extra workers will bring Apple’s workforce in Cork to 6,000 people.

In documents lodged with Cork City Council, Apple says the proposed new office space will enable it to grow its workforce at Hollyhill and support its development objectives.

Apple Operations Europe told the council it planned to start construction, subject to planning permission, in June. It wants the project to start operating in November.

An Bord Pleanála confirmed it will now make a ruling on the appeal by August 22.

Even if the decision of the city council were upheld, it is likely that the development will now not be ready until early 2017. Apple says 200 people will be employed during construction.

Apple warns that “it is possible that if the development did not go ahead, there would be a potential serious negative impact on the local and national economy”. 

In an environment impact statement, it warns: “Restricting the expansion of the campus could result in Apple relocating to an alternative location which could have serious implications for the economy. “

The residents’ appeal has been lodged by Thomas Murphy for ‘Residents of Ardcullen’ and signed by 32 residents.

In the appeal, Mr Murphy states: “We are objecting on the grounds that we are now practically living on an industrial estate, our homes being closer to the existing extension than the staff car park is to it.

“When we were housed on this estate our homes were facing a green space. This was the case for 20 years. However, we now open our curtains and front doors to an office block and the people working inside the building are in full view and clearly visible from our homes.

“The plan to now build a four-storey building will further diminish not just our view, but as our homes are two-storey units and the proposed build is to be four storeys, this will overshadow our homes and have a very serious impact on us as residents.”

The planner’s report, which recommended a green light to the application, acknowledged that there would be some negative visual impact from the proposal on the eastern boundary, “but this is within acceptable parameters and be can successfully mitigated”.

The planner said the proposal will result in the consolidation of the largest employer in Cork City of a development “of international, national, and local economic” importance.


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