Apple is expected to know by the end of the month if it can build its enormous data centre in Ireland, according to local radio station Galway Bay FM.
Irish planning body An Bord Pleanála is reportedly in the “final deliberations” on Apple’s €850 million (£726 million) data centre, which would be situated in the middle of Derrydonnell Forest near a small town called Athenry, in County Galway, on the west coast of Ireland.
Apple intends to use the data centre to store European user data and to help power online services including the iTunes Store, the App Store, iMessage, Maps, and Siri for customers across Europe.
Business Insider visited the site that Apple wants to build on in February and found that most people in the surrounding area are in favour of the proposed development, which could create up to 300 jobs in the area — initially for construction workers but ultimately for IT professionals.
However, a number of organisations and individuals are concerned that the facility will have a detrimental impact on the area, with increased flooding and harm to the habitats of bats and badgers, among the concerns.
Galway County Council granted Apple planning permission for the first phase of its eight hall data centre last September.
Following the council’s approval, 28 parties wrote to Irish planning body An Bord Pleanála to either appeal the decision or make an observation.
An Bord Pleanála, which is considering the proposed development, held an oral hearing in May that was attended by Apple employees and a number of concerned locals. The hearing — overseen by An Bord Pleanála inspector Stephen Kay — addressed energy and climate change impacts, site selection, and location.
Galway Bay FM reports that Kay has now submitted a final report to the board for consideration. The report is said to contain a series of recommendations on whether the data centre should be granted permission, and if any modifications to the proposed development are needed. It will reportedly be published when An Bord Pleanála announces its decision.
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