Apple gets go-ahead for Cork expansion

Apple has received planning permission for an expansion at its European head office in Cork that is due to provide an additional 1,000 jobs.

An Bord Pleanála gave the tech giant the go-ahead after dismissing an appeal against the development by local residents.

The plan by the iPhone maker comprises a four-storey office block and 752 car spaces. The additional 1,000 workers will bring Apple’s workforce in Cork to 6,000.

In documents lodged with Cork City Council, Apple says the proposed new office space will allow Apple to expand its workforce at the Hollyhill site whilst also supporting the economy.

The appeal by locals has, however, delayed Apple’s plans for the development. It told the city council it wanted to start on the project in June this year.

However, it is now likely the new development will come on stream in 2017, allowing for a construction period of five months.

Apple has confirmed that 200 workers will be employed during construction.

In its Environment Impact Statement, Apple warned of the “serious” effects on the “local and national economy” if planning had been refused.

The residents’ appeal was lodged by Thomas Murphy for ‘Residents of Ardcullen’ adjacent to the Apple site, and signed by 32 residents.

In the appeal, Mr Murphy said: “We are objecting on the grounds we are now practically living on an industrial estate, our homes being closer to the existing extension that 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.”

However, An Bord Pleanála determined that the plan would not seriously affect local properties and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety.

An Bord Pleanála also ruled tha the plan was in accordance with the Cork City Development Plan.

In reaching its determination, the board said it had looked at the established use and planning history of the site.

Planning inspector Pauline Fitzpatrick said proposed landscaping at the site should help dimish the effects on residents.


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