Apple might not be able to build its €850 million Irish data centre after all

Tim cookScreenshotApple CEO Tim Cook.

A small town in Ireland is continuing to give Apple a huge headache.

The Californian tech giant wants to build an €850 million (£757 million) data centre just outside Athenry, in County Galway, on the west coast of Ireland. But the company has faced stiff opposition from local residents and businesses who don’t want it “in their back garden.”

After a lot of toing and froing, Apple finally got the green light from local planning body An Bord Pleanála in August. Apple seemed to be home and dry.

However, local residents Allan Daly and Sinéad Fitzpatrick have now launched a High Court bid that threatens to derail Apple’s plans once more, The Irish Times reports.

Apple is concerned that the project will be delayed by a further 18 months if the High Court permits a full review of An Bord Pleanála‘s decision to give scheme the go-ahead, according to The Irish Times.

The High Court is yet to decide whether to proceed to a full judicial review, but The Irish Times writes that there will be a lengthy delay if Daly and Fitzpatrick are successful with their application.

The newspaper also writes that Apple is concerned about the project’s future if the judicial review is granted. It has reportedly made its fears known to Irish government officials.

Apple wants 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, according to a press release announcing the development in February 2015. In the press release, Apple also announced a similar data centre in Denmark, which is in the process of being built, according to The Irish Times.

Apple data center in IrelandUnknownA computer-generated image of Apple’s Irish data centre.

The Cupertino company was hoping to have the facility up and running by early 2017 but Apple is yet to start any building work.

Some 5,500 of Apple’s 18,300 European staff are based in Ireland, which is also home to its European headquarters. The company has pledged to hire an additional 1,000 staff in Ireland before 2017.

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have also built data centres in Ireland, and Facebook also has one planned.

Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

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